BJP’s Team and CPI(M) Leader Turned Back From Violence-hit Malda
BJP’s three-member fact-finding team to look into the communal incident at Malda was sent back from West Bengal.
A team of BJP MPs was denied permission to visit violence-hit Kaliachak in West Bengal’s Malda district, days after communal violence erupted in the district on 3 January when the President of the Hindu Mahasabha Kamlesh Tiwari made blasphemous comments about Prophet Muhammad.
CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim, also on way to Malda, was stopped by the police near Amriti, NDTV reports.
The team consisting Bhupendra Yadav, Ram Vilas Vedanti and SS Ahluwalia, was turned back by the district authorities soon after they alighted the Gaur Express at Malda Town station at 6 am, citing prohibitory orders.
Bhupendra Yadav, MP, BJP
This act of the West Bengal government is condemnable.
The party has accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of playing “vote bank” politics and said it will take the matter to the President.
West Bengal’s ruling TMC mounted a swift counter-offensive, charging the BJP with “whipping up communalism” ahead of the state assembly election.
Ahluwalia said the team will request Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to constitute a high-power committee to go into the situation in the area.
SS Ahluwalia, MP, BJP
The purpose of the visit was to console the people, to restore their confidence that something like this will not happen in future. Due to pressure from the state government, the district administration said that we cannot go there as Section 144 CrPC has been imposed.
Banerjee’s TMC immediately shot back.
Derek O’Brien, Chief National Spokesperson, TMC
The situation in Kaliachak, Malda was tense, but never got out of hand. The police handled the issue tactfully. Thankfully, no deaths occurred, no injuries and 10 people have been arrested.
Dubbing Kaliachak violence as a ‘criminal issue’, O’Brien alleged, “BJP/RSS, as is their strategy, tried to turn it into communal issue. They did this by trending hashtags on Twitter, sharing year-old photographs and posting irresponsible tweets with the help of its social media army”.
On January 3, police vehicles were burnt including one belonging to the Border Security Force (BSF). Malda’s Kaliachak police station was ransacked by a violent crowd at Sujapur area in the district.
Thousands of protesters marched with green flags on National Highway (NH)-34 protesting against Tiwari’s derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad. The Times of India had in a report said that Tiwari had called Prophet Muhammad the first homosexual in the world, in a press note that he issued.
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