Asim Kumar Mitra
Ultimately the trigger-happy conspirators of Tehatta (under district of Nadia, WB) are happy as organisers of the 14 community Jagatdhatri Puja committees have declined the compromise offer put forward by the Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Sudipta Bhattacharya for holding Jagatdhatri Puja at a place 22 bighas away from the original place of the pujas. The leaders of the 14 community Jagatdhatri Puja committees have jointly declared that it is unfortunate that the administration in the name of keeping communal harmony intact has become part and parcel of the conspiracy. Nevertheless community leaders are all united on the question of holding Jagatdhatri Puja on the same place, if not this year, in the next year They further said that the political elements who are involved in this conspiracy would face the music in the forthcoming Panchayat elections.
The fact remained that a section of local people belonging to a particular minority group took out processions, jatthas and distributed leaflets since last year to highlight the demands of the Muslims to bring back the status of the whole area comprising of minority infested areas of Nadia and Murshidabad districts as it was before August 17, 1947. This was an awfully intriguing proposition by the Muslim population of the area and all political parties except BJP kept mum over this dangerous and anti-national issue. Samik Bhattacharya, vice president of the State BJP said that initially the Congress had instigated local Muslims to create hue and cry for this particular demand so that they could steal the thunder from TMC.
Siddiqullah, an one time crony of Mamata Banerjee, now has formed a separate party for Muslims and at the same time he has been holding the post of secretary of Jamiat-ul-ulema, had gheraoed the local police station of Tehatta to compel them to take initiative to stop the annual Jagatdhatri Puja in Tehatta as they had planned to build up one Dargah on that land. Other than BJP, all parties had supported this move of Siddiqullah. Initially it was the Congress that had instigated Muslims to create trouble against Hindus and other communities of the area. As Panchayat election is round the corner, the TMC and CPM could not keep mum over this development. Both appeared on the scene to prove how best they could help the Muslim cause although without any logic.
TMC always thought that they are the supreme force in the area and Muslims are the mainstay of their support base. So they are eager to win over the Muslim sentiments. There is a reason for this as BJP, according to their assessment, is gaining ground in these areas and as TMC was defeated in the last Assembly election in this constituency, BJP has attracted a large chunk of votes, they are out to teach a good lesson to BJP. But the fact remained that because of division of votes among different contesting parties it was Left Front candidate that had won the election. It was mere a chance factor that the LF had won the election. At present the Muslims are being propped up by the TMC leaders like Zulfikar Ali, P Dutta and Anis Ali Dafadar for taking revenge against all other parties that are trying to allure the Muslims.
According to State BJP vice president Samik Bhattacharya, from Tehatta through Chapra up to Berhampore there is a Muslim belt area known as “smugglers’ zone”. Every day after the dusk on the Tehatta-Chapra highway there is deployment of armed CRPF Jawans every 100 yards to oversee the safety and security of the area. In spite of these arrangement, every day murders, robberies, snatchings takes place and perpetrators of these acts are essentially those smugglers and anti social elements. Even after knowing all these facts, the role of CRPF Jawans is that of a ‘silent spectator’ as TMC, INC or CPM no party wants to take action against them.
On November 14, when the Tehatta incident took place in which the young BJP worker Ashok Sen was killed in firing by ADG Dr Shailesh, the Administration has become over active to suppress the matter and denied the fact that deceased Ashok Sen was an active worker of BJP. They became more scared when they saw that all organisers of Jagatdhatri Puja committees have united and asserted that if Puja on the disputed land was not allowed by the administration they all(that means other 13 units) would boycott the Jagatdhatri Puja for this year. This unity among Hindus has definitely annoyed the ruling party.
Another important fact that has come to light is that both CPM and Congress are out to acquire maximum mileage out of this trouble in Tehatta. But to their utter surprise they have discovered that not a single local person is ready to join the congregations organised by them. Hence the important leaders like State Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya came back empty handed from Tehatta. So is the fate of Central ministers Deepa Dasmunshi and Adhir Choudhury. For CPM it is only an extension of their frustration, nobody in rural areas is yet ready to openly side with the CPM.
If this situation continues till the Panchayat elections, then there is every possibility of BJP becoming the major opponent to TMC during the Panchayat polls.