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(Representative image) Cows on Maheshwar Ghats, Wikimedia

Kolkata, Jan 31, 2017: A locality on the western edge of Kolkata’s Metiabruz area, Alampur remains to be in a very heated atmosphere ever since on January 23, some chunks of alleged beef were thrown into a temple. However, this Alampur incident is not a one of its kind and there have been similar cases as well. Ten districts of West Bengal have seen similar such communal incidents since October 2016 which is proving to be a major challenge for the state government.

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“I will not allow anarchy in Bengal,” said chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday. “Police is dealing with such things with a strong hand. We will soon bring a strong legislation against arson, where anyone setting fire to government or private party will be have to pay. One political party is trying to fan violence,” she said. However, Banerjee did not mention BJP in her statements.

But, other political parties gave some strong statements in context of the minor communal clashes in Bengal. “Attacks on Hindus are going on in different parts of the state. Metiabruz is the latest in the series and the administration has failed to control them,” said Sayantan Basu, state BJP secretary.

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The Congress and the Left have also claimed that the situation was “getting dangerous” in Bengal. “Trinamool Congress brought in communal politics in Bengal by appeasing communities for political gains. Now things are going out of control,” said Abdul Mannan, Congress MLA and leader of the opposition in the Assembly.

Minor communal clashes have become a regularity in West Bengal as almost ten cases similar to the Alampur case have been reported. Since October, pockets and villages in Kaliachak, Chanchol (Malda district), Jalangi (Murshidabad), Chandannagar (Hooghly), Bhagabanpur (East Midnapore), Kharagpore (West Midnapore), Hajinagar, Kanchrapara (North 24 Parganas), Sankrail, Dhulagarh (Howrah), Katwa, Jamuria and Kaksha (Burdwan) have witnessed clashes.

On December 12 and 13, clashes in Dhulagarh (26 km from Kolkata) began after Muslims took out a religious procession through the main market road in Banerjeepara neighbourhood. Hindus objected, but the procession was allowed by the police.

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Houses and shops were set ablaze which left hundreds from both communities homeless after the clash. Police arrested 65 people but the clashes continued for the next few days.

The Dhulagarh incident, unlike others before it, got political attention with BJP, Congress and CPI(M) dispatching leaders to the spot. General secretary Sitaram Yechury was a part of the CPI(M) team. In other areas political parties were prevented by police to enter after the clash.

“One hand the government is giving stipends to Imams, but creates pressure and stops a seminar on Kashmir and Balochistan in Kolkata citing that it will create communal problem. Miscreants and radicals are taking advantage of this situation,” said Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay, political science expert and former principal of Presidency college.

prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter: @shambhavispeaks


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