West Bengal communal violence: Basirhat remains tense, BJP delegation led by Roopa Ganguly detained
The atmosphere in the communal violence-hit areas of West Bengal continues to be tense although the Mamata Banerjee government on Thursday claimed that things have returned back to normal in Baduria and surrounding areas, where communal clashes broke out. A BJP delegation led by MP Roopa Ganguly was detained by police near Michael Nagar area when they were on their way to riot-hit Baduria area in North 24 Parganas district. Ganguly and 19 party leaders were detained by the police close to the airport. After being detained, the BJP team was brought to the Airport police station.
“We told the delegation that they will not be allowed to go to Baduria, as per the decision of the administration.The situation is still tense, that is why nobody is being allowed to go there. But they were adamant and said either they will court arrest or will proceed forward. So we had to detain them,” a senior police officer of Bidhanagar police Commissionerate said.
Michael Nagar is within the limits of Bidhanagar Police Commissionerate.
Earlier in the day, two teams of the Left and the Congress, scheduled to visit the riot-hit areas of Baduria were also stopped by the police, citing law and order situation.
The Left Front delegation was led by CPI(M) politburo member and MP Mohammed Salim and Left Front legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty. They were supposed to visit the riot hit areas and also meet the affected people there.
The Congress delegation was led by state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury and was supposed to visit the affected ares of Baduria in North 24 parganas.
On Thursday, fresh tension was reported in Basirhat area forcing the police to lob teargas shells and baton charge.
"Fresh tension brewed up at Basirhat town and station area after the communal clashes in Baduria in the district. Police had to lob teargas shells and resort to baton charge to disperse an unruly crowd," a senior police officer said.
Police and BSF personnel immediately rushed to the area to bring the situation under control, he said.
The state administration has imposed section 144 in riot hit North 24 Parganas district and withdrew internet services in the area.
The West Bengal government on Thursday refused to deploy an additional 400 central troops in the riot-hit areas of North 24-Parganas district, according to a Union home ministry spokesperson.
"We have sent eight companies of paramilitary forces (comprising 100 personnel each) to West Bengal for deployment in the communal violence-affected areas. However, the West Bengal government has conveyed that it does not require four of the eight companies," the spokesperson said.
The state government has not cited any reason for its decision.
The state's refusal came in the wake of an unprecedented public spat between Governor K N Tripathi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, triggered by a telephonic conversation between the two on the communal violence.
However, West Bengal governor K N Tripathi on Thursday expressed satisfaction over the steps being taken to restore peace in the riot-hit areas of North 24 Parganas district.
"I want peace and law and order to be restored. And I am happy that steps are being taken in that direction," he said.