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Bengal tense after beef found in temple leads to communal clashes

Kolkata:The beef was allegedly found in a temple on the western edge of Kolkata’s Metiabruz area in Alampur. The locality continues to be tense since January 23. Police are looking into the possibility of deliberate and organized attempts being mounted to disrupt communal harmony in Alampur.

Similar communal incidents were seen in ten districts of West Bengal since October 2016 which is proving to be a major challenge for the state government. Such incidents were seen in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh also.

A bandh was subsequently called and the orders were imposed disallowing assembly of four or more people in the area that has a mix of slums and high rises. The workshops were also banned after Hindus groups blocked traffic following the alleged desecration of the two temples.

Muslims are in majority in the area which also houses a government undertaking – Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that she will not allow anarchy in Bengal.

She said without pointing BJP that.“Police are dealing with such things with a strong hand. We will soon bring a strong legislation against arson, where anyone setting fire to government or private party will have to pay. One political party is trying to fan violence.”

The BJP has demanded Central intervention on the ground that the government has failed to control law and order. They have submitted a representation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on October 21.

Sayantan Basu, state BJP secretary said. “Attacks on Hindus are going on in different parts of the state. Metiabruz is the latest in the series and the administration has failed to control them.”

The Congress and the Left have also claimed that the situation was “getting dangerous” in Bengal. Abdul Mannan, Congress MLA and leader of the opposition in the Assembly said.

“Trinamool Congress brought in communal politics in Bengal by appeasing communities for political gains. Now things are going out of control.”

Shibaji Pratim Basu, a political analyst said.“Here is an urgent need for political will and wisdom. They should not show oversensitivity for a particular community who are its loyal vote bank. The ruling party must ensure fair dealings while handling the culprits. On one hand, there is a rise of radical Islam and on the other, there is an attempt from the opposite section to flare up things. This is an unprecedented atmosphere in Bengal.”

Last year in October, pockets and villages like Kaliachak, Chanchol (Malda district), Jalangi (Murshidabad), Chandannagar (Hooghly), Bhagabanpur (East Midnapore), Kharagpore (West Midnapore), Hajinagar, Kanchrapara (North 24 Parganas), Sankrail, Dhulagarh (Howrah), Katwa, Jamuria and Kaksha (Burdwan) have witnessed clashes.

Small clashes were also seen in different parts of Bengal over Durga Puja immersions and Muharram processions which coincided on the same day and on December 12 and 13, clashes in Dhulagarh (26 km from Kolkata) began when Muslims took out a religious procession through the main market road in Banerjeepara neighborhood.

Some of the incidents like the Dhulagarh incident got political attention with BJP, Congress, and CPI(M) dispatching leaders to the spot. Later police barred entry to political parties.

Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay, political science expert and former principal of Presidency college said.“One hand the government is giving stipends to Imams, but creates pressure and stops a seminar on Kashmir and Balochistan in Kolkata citing that it will create a communal problem. Miscreants and radicals are taking advantage of this situation.”