Section 144 Imposed in Bengal’s Telinipara After Clashes Break Out

Fresh clashes broke out in the area which had also seen clashes on Sunday, 10 May.

2 min read
A screenshot from a video of the violence doing rounds on social media.

At least 150 people were arrested after fresh clashes broke out at the Telinipara area of Hooghly in West Bengal, the area where unrest between two communities has been brewing since Sunday after a few people tested positive for COVID-19 there.

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been imposed in the area since Tuesday, 12 May.

According to local sources, crude bombs were hurled in the area as two groups clashed over COVID-19 containment in the area. There was massive police deployment in the area and as per the last report, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) was conducting peace marches.

“This incident started on Sunday. There were clashes between two communities and that is how this law and order situation began. We had managed to bring the situation under control. It was all fine on Monday, but on Tuesday things flared up again. There was definitely some planning because we took control on Sunday itself and things relapsed again on Tuesday", Subrata Gangopadhyay, DCP Headquarters, Chandannagar, told The Quint.

How It All Began

Local sources say that the trouble began when a few people of Telinipara tested positive a few days back. After this, the police had asked the entire area to maintain the lockdown. However, on Sunday, when they saw that the lockdown was being violated, the police tried to take those who tested positive to an isolation ward. In the process, the area was also barricaded.

Sources say that the police faced the ire of the locals when they made an attempt to take the patients to the isolation ward. Thereafter, people from a neighbouring locality descended on the area demanding that no one from there be allowed to move out.

The people from the other locality then started creating their own barricades around the area, and that is when clashes between the two groups started.

Crude bombs were hurled, shops were vandalised and vehicles destroyed.

State Govt, BJP Spar Over Clashes

On Monday, Home Secretary of West Bengal Alapan Bandyopadhyay said in a tweet:

“Last evening, swift and strong action was taken in Telinipara against those who were trying to disturb the peace. The situation was immediately brought under control. Telinipara is peaceful now.”

However, hours after this tweet, reports once again emerged of tensions in Telinipara.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit out at the state government for what it has called a “communal clash” and a complete breakdown of law and order.

“When police tried to take the COVID-19-infected people belonging to a particular community, in Malda (Harishchandrapur) and in Hooghly (Chandannagar), they were vehemently opposing such action. On the other hand, the houses of the Hindus, their shops, temples are being demolished”, said BJP state President Dilip Ghosh in a tweet on Monday.

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