ON February 19, 2013 at about 4.00 AM, the dead body of Ruhul Quddus, a Muslim cleric known to be fundamentalist, was found shot to death at Ghutiyari Sharif, Distt South 24-Parganas, West Bengal. Ghutiyari Sharif is known to be a place overrun with criminals of all descriptions. The police, for reasons not known, delayed picking up the corpse. As a result commotion built up in the area, and a rumour was floated that the murder was committed by the RSS supporters.
Thereafter a very large number of Muslims in trucks, said to be from Metiabruz-Garden Reach area (another crime affected area to the south-west of Kolkata, and currently in the news because of a Trinamool councillor’s being involved in the murder of a policeman) descended on Goladahara village under Canning P.S., quite far away from Ghutiyari Sharif where one Abdul Salam Mollah, Headmaster of Naliakhali High school, incited them to attack Hindu houses, saying “Afzal Guru and Kasab’s hanging must be avenged”.
Some 200 Hindu houses were said to have been torched and looted. A young girl, Chandana Mandal, A national-level cycling sportsperson had an imported cycle and various outfits for cycling worth lakhs of rupees which were all looted. Hindu deities were desecrated everywhere, Ma Kali images and ‘Tulsi Manchas’ were broken and urinated upon. The police stood by as mute spectators. Some policemen even told the Hindu villagers “you hit back if you can, but we can’t help you”.
There is no report of any murder or rape, but destruction of Hindu property and desecration of Hindu religious images are
widespread. On 20th morning, upon being asked by the BJP State President, I led a BJP delegation and visited the spot and took stock of the situation. At the spot I met the Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO) who said that S. 144 CrPC has been imposed in the area and thus permitted only four of us to visit the place. The villagers were too scared even to file an FIR and were sure the police would not let them do so. I prevailed upon them to file FIR and told the SDPO who was present there that he must accept the FIR, which he did.
Swayamsevaks are doing relief work there. I have also spoken to the Bharat Sevashram Sangha to undertake relief work.
As usual, Media completely stayed away from the incident and blacked it out, just as they had done about the
Deganga (Distt North 24-Parganas) attacks on Hindus in September 2010 led by Trinamool MP Haji Nurul Islam. This spot had been visited, upon Advaniji’s orders, by MPs Chandan Mitra and Uday Singh.
It is important to note that almost all the affected villagers belong to the ‘Poundra’ caste, which is a Scheduled Caste. It is understood that some ‘Santhals’, a Scheduled Tribe, were also effected,.
As the media in West Bengal is totally uncooperative in this regard, steps have been taken to publicise this through the social networking sites of Facebook and Twitter.