West Bengal communal violence: Mamata Banerjee accuses Centre of trying to flare up riots

Amid escalating communal strife in the North 24 Parganas district, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee asserted that the Centre was responsible for the riots.

With the recent events in Baduria, Swarupnagar, Deganga and Basirhat threatening to derail the state's inter-faith harmony, Banerjee said, "The Centre is behind the Basirhat riots. Non-cooperation by Centre in not sending further forces to handle crisis in Darjeeling."

She also said that the fact that forces were not sent on time further flared up violence around the West Bengal border. The Trinamool Congress leader went on to assert that the BJP-led government was spreading morphed images from Bhojpuri movies to incite violence. These comments come after Haryana BJP leader Vijeta Malik expressed her "concern for Hindus in West Bengal" by sharing an image the Bhojpuri movie  Aurat Khilona Nahi. 

Mamata went on to assert that Centre was trying to impose President's Rule in West Bengal, adding, "border areas are being disturbed by foreign hands having good relations with BJP." She asserted that, "How can some people from across the border intrude and start disruptions here? Who is in charge of border security, the Centre or the state? Once again I am saying, it is the ploy of the BJP to disturb the peace of the state." She added that a judicial inquiry will be conducted into the riots in Baduria and Basirhat. "We have decided to order a judicial probe into the Baduria and Basirhat riots. We want to see who were involved and the state government will provide every input to the judicial commission. Let there be an impartial probe," Banerjee told in West Bengal.

Speaking about the Gorkhaland agitations in Darjeeling, Banerjee attempted to appease the protesters. "I appeal to Darjeeling to not resort to violence and instead make peace," she said at the press conference. "Negotiations are part of a democratic system but let peace be restored first," she added.

Mamata also claimed that whether it was Puducherry, Kerala or West Bengal, those who spoke up against the Centre were being "unfairly targeted as political vendetta."


Commenting on the attempts by political parties to visit the riot-hit areas, the chief minister said, "Where is the need to disturb the people there? Let them settle down. Trinamool MPs did not go. They could have gone also." PTI reports that the state administration did not allow Congress, left and BJP teams to visit Basirhat on Friday.

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

She went on to say that this would not stop her and that she will keep her resistance up. Training her guns on the government's recent economic policies, Mamata cried foul, saying, "From demonetisation to GST, the whole thing is a scam." The TMC leaders said that once these regulations were kept under a scanner, the skeletons would start emerging. She also pointedly attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, saying that he had deviated from the original plan that had been agreed upon by the central and state governments. She called GST  'big corruption'.

This is not the first time Mamata Banerjee has accused the Centre of aggravating tensions. On 5 July, at the state secretariat, Banerjee said that BJP was misusing social media to spread rumours leading to communal riots. "The BJP has no license to incite riots. But they are doing it. They are spreading hatred among people," she said.

The chief minister added that the BJP has been hatching the "conspiracy" against her party and the government because it "failed to fight TMC politically, economically, socially and on developmental issues." According to PTI, BJP fought back against these initial remarks. The report states that BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that the West Bengal government has "stooped to a new low" by trying to "malign" the office of the governor in order to "divert" attention from its own failures.

The situation in riot-hit Basirhat in North 24 Paraganas district had shown signs of improvement on Friday with no untoward incident being reported, an official had reportedly stated. ANI reports that ten IPS officers were transferred following the violence, with C Sudhakar being appointed new superintendent of North 24 Parganas, taking the place of SP Bhaskar Mukherjee.


Published Date: Jul 08, 2017 04:11 pm | Updated Date: Jul 08, 2017 07:18 pm


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