In the fallout from the communal violence which gripped North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to West Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The Ministry of Home Affairs also sought a report from West Bengal government on the communal violence.
Communal clashes had broken out in North 24 Parganas district on Tuesday night following an "objectionable" Facebook post, prompting the government to rush in 400 BSF troopers to assist the local administration in controlling the situation.
According to a report by The Indian Express, trouble started when a Class X student allegedly put up a derogatory post on Facebook on Monday. Even though the boy was nabbed on Monday evening, mobs vandalised shops and homes and blocked major roads in protest. The crowd also demonstrated in front of Baduria police station.
The vandalism continued throughout Monday and Tuesday as the administration did not inform people about the arrest, claimed Quazi Abdur Rahim, the MLA of Baduria, where the incident happened, according to Hindustan Times. Angry Muslim mobs took to the street and burnt houses and shops belonging to Hindus in Baduria, Swarupnagar and Taki blocks of the district bordering Bangladesh. The car of the additional police superintendent of the district was also attacked on Tuesday.
Shops were shut down in Baduria as tension prevailed there and spread to adjacent areas like Keosha market, Banshtala, Ramchandrapur and Tentulia, the police said.
Governor and chief minister clash
While there was no official confirmation about any casualties during the clashes, the incident triggered an unprecedented spat between Banerjee and Tripathi.
Banerjee accused Tripathi of threatening her as she told the media that "He threatened me over phone. The way he spoke taking the side of BJP, I felt insulted. I have told him that he cannot talk like this." Banerjee also slammed Tripathi saying that he was behaving like a "block president of BJP".
The Raj Bhawan voiced surprise over Mamata's "attitude and language", and said, "the Hon'ble Governor cannot remain a mute spectator of the affairs in the state." Tripathi, a former BJP veteran and former speaker of Uttar Pradesh Assembly, was appointed West Bengal governor after the Narendra Modi government was formed in 2014.
A Raj Bhavan statement quoted Tripathi as having said nothing happened during the talks over which Mamata should feel "insulted, threatened or humiliated". "The talks between the Hon'ble chief minister and the Hon'ble governor were confidential in nature and none is expected to disclose it," a statement issued by Raj Bhavan in Kolkata said.
It said that the governor asked the chief minister to ensure peace and law and order by all means. Condemning the riots, Mamata said, "This is a serious issue, let me handle it seriously." She said after the arrest of one person, there should not have been any further trouble. "We were awake last night (to control it)."
The chief minister appealed to top leaders of both the communities that her government would not tolerate "this hooliganism".
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jul 05, 2017 03:07 pm | Updated Date: Jul 05, 2017 03:21 pm