A Year After Riots, What is Asansol’s Take on Lok Sabha Elections?
Video Editor: Vishal Kumar
On 27 March 2019, riots broke out between the Hindus and Muslims after several Ram Navami processions in the West Bengal town of Asansol went awry.
The Quint visited the town three days after the riots to take stock of the situation. We spoke to members of both communities, saw the destruction of houses and livelihoods and spoke to many who had lost all.
At the time, there was a clear divide between the Hindu and Muslim communities of the affected areas over what exactly transpired that day and who was to blame.
And, of course, taking advantage of the sensitive situation in the town, which has a large migrant Hindu-Bihari population, were politicians from all spectrums.
This year, in the Lok Sabha elections, the two main contenders from the Asansol seat are the Trinamool’s Moon Moon Sen and the sitting MP from the area, BJP’s Babul Supriyo.
For most of the families that lost their homes and belongings in those riots, life has come a full circle.
Where burnt houses once stood, now stand white and blue houses made by the corporation. All those affected by the riots were also promised a compensation of 45,000 rupees. But everyone hasn’t received the full amount.
The Hindus, therefore, are still unsatisfied. And just like last time, the Hindu areas were hestitant to talk openly about who has done work for them and who hasn’t.
The situation was different in Muslim colonies, though, where almost all the people that The Quint spoke to said that peace now prevailed in the area and it was all because of one person – Mamata Banerjee. They said their vote will this go to Moon Moon Sen.
The community also seemed very disillusioned with Babul Supriyo who they claimed was playing divisive politics. They also claimed that even though he regularly visits neighbouring Hindu areas, the MP never comes to the Muslim areas.
Watch our special ground report from Asansol, where we try to figure out which way residents of this riot-hit town will vote.