Proliferation of Muslims in and around Asansol and the adjoining coal belts and their “nexus” with the local underworld, which the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal allegedly patronises, were the principal reasons behind the communal violence there in the wake of Ram Navami celebrations, a report submitted by a four-member BJP team has claimed.Speaking exclusively to The Quint, BJP national Vice-President Om Prakash Mathur said:Correct, correct. There has been a growth in the population of Muslims in and around Asansol and Raniganj. The coal and illegal arms mafia in the area have close association with the Muslims and it is this coalition of forces that was behind the violence in which Hindus have been the victims.At an Asansol Recovery Camp: Fear, Trauma and a Longing For HomePlaying the ‘Hindu-Victim Card’ & Shifting BlameThe alleged nexus between the mafia and the minority community living in Asansol and Raniganj finds prominence in the report.Mathur, who led a four-member team of other central BJP leaders, including Shahnawaz Hussein, Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly and former Jharkhand Director-General of Police VD Ram to Asansol (on 1 April), but not Raniganj, which was the epicentre of the violent clash that resulted in the death of two persons, said:Our investigations suggested that the TMC protects the mafia elements active in the coal belt and it fanned trouble in various ways by organising its own Ram Navami processions.The seven-page report, submitted to BJP President Amit Shah shortly after the team’s return to Delhi, has “questioned” why violence related to observing Ram Navami was “restricted only to three-four places in West Bengal when similar processions are organised across many other places in the state”.Mafia elements under the protection of the TMC had turned aggressive a few days before Ram Navami and had gathered in Asansol and Raniganj before the outbreak of violence.BJP Report on Ram Navami ViolenceIn his report, Mathur has also questioned the “prevalence and use” of country-made bombs, one of which tore the right arm of a police officer.Where did the bombs come from? I am not claiming that the bombs could not have been used by our people. They might very well have, but the main point is where did they come from and why were no efforts made by the West Burdwan police to stop the entry of bombs as well as anti-social elements?The team did not share the contents of the report with the BJP’s West Bengal unit, but Dilip Ghosh, who heads the party in the state and in the past has led armed Ram Navami processions that affiliated organisations such the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has taken out in the past, played the “Hindu victim card”, claiming that violence in Asansol and Raniganj was “followed by looting” as a result of which “Hindus living there fled and are now living in fear in relief camps”.Hindus & Muslims Give Distinct Narratives of the Asansol ViolenceCommunal Living = Communal Clashes?Targeting the TMC and the state administration for “failing to quell” the violence, both Mathur and Ghosh said that “police bandobast” was “not adequate”. The thrust of the BJP’s attack is on the TMC “holding back” the police from taking preventive measures which “could have nipped any localised disturbance before it could assume the scale of full-scale violence”.Ghosh went a step further to claim that the “Jamaat-e-Islami and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) have become very active across West Bengal” and “these outfits may have had a hand in Asansol and Raniganj in West Burdwan and Titagarh and Kakinara in North 24 Parganas”. Ghosh added that there were “disturbances in Kakinara and Titagarh during last year’s Durga Puja” and the Bengal BJP “has good reasons to believe that it was the handiwork of the Jamaat”.According to Ghosh, “Asansol is a mixed area”, by which he meant “Hindus and Muslims living in close proximity to each other”. Ghosh, like his senior party colleague Mathur, did not mince words to claim that the growth of Muslim population in the belt, besides their “nexus” with anti-social elements, including the coal mafia, has caused fear among the local Hindus. “In the process and in the wake of the recent spate of violence in Asansol-Raniganj, the BJP is being blamed for the disturbances.”Asansol Imam, Whose Son Died in Ram Navami Clashes, Asks For Peace We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.