The ghost of mayhem and violence in Bashirhat, Baduria and Swarupnagar will reflect on the results of West Bengal Assembly polls. For the beleaguered Hindu voters of the state it means making a choice between an insensitive Chief Minister who is comfortable speaking with Islamic leaders to douse communal flame and the BJP that is sensitive to the lives and property of the majority community
What was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee doing when Hindu men were killed and their women were molested will be a question asked by most people in riot-inflicted West Bengal. Scenes of mayhem and violence shook Baduria, Swarupnagar during her Chief Ministership. These places went to polls on April 22 while Basirhat saw elections on April 17. Glimpses of past of these places of Uttar 24 Parganas district would be relevant as those would help contemplate electoral behaviours of these assemblies and challenges that the Election Commission of India may face.
Police acting as Mute Spectator
Not many people have forgotten the communal riots that took Bashirhat, Baduria, Swarupnagar into its grip in July 2017. The jihadi face of West Bengal got unveiled with a glare when pre-planned attacks on members of the Hindu community were launched in Basirhat, Baduria and Swarupnagar. Hindu villages were looted one after another. Shops of Hindu owners on both sides of Barasat Taki Road were ransacked, looted and set ablaze. The role of the West Bengal police was of spectators.
Cops were asked to visit the affected areas with mere lathis, keeping rifles in safe custody of police stations’ Malkhanas. Hindu girls were systematically targeted for molestation. Local Hindus tried to resist Islamic fundamentalists with their own limited capacity. The situation turned perhaps like Kolkata or Noakhali in 1946. In such a situation, Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi, the then Governor of West Bengal, intervened and asked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take immediate steps to control violence. Governor himself arranged deployment of three companies of Central Force on July 5 evening after which Hindus there could breath free after three sleepless nights.
Making Governor the Scapegoat
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at Governor Tripathy thereafter in an unprecedented public outburst on July 5. That was the first time “Bengali media” at all reported the riot that began two days back. Media aired the Chief Minister’s criticism of the West Bengal Governor, who saved the lives and properties of thousands of Hindus. The Chief Minister’s reaction was nothing beyond expectation. An excited Mamata Banerjee confessed that she had tried her level best to convince some Muslim leaders to put off the fire of communal riot. Instead of controlling riot by police and administration, she engaged in negotiating with Islamic fundamentalists. Press asked her to disclose the names of those religious leaders which, however, was not done by Mamata Banerjee, nor by CMO.
One name was repeatedly heard from the affected area— Abdul Motin, Secretary of All India Sunnat al Jamaet, AISAJ that had its office at Berachapa, Kaukepara, Taki Road, P.S.- Deganga. Likes of Abdul Motin, Haroa’s TMC candidate Sk Nurul Haji need to remain under strict poll-time vigilance by ECI.
Jihadis started rioting based on a mere Facebook post of an under age boy named Souvik Sarkar. On 2nd July, 2017 news spread that one Souvik Sarkar, a student of class XII, aged 17 uploaded an objectionable post about the Islamic holy site on Facebook. Muslim men gathered near Souvik’s house and attacked it with stones and fire. Police arrested Souvik, but it didn’t solve the problem. Though Souvik’s Facebook post was the apparent reason of Jihadi aggression, real reason appeared something else.
Illegal Trafficking of Cattles
The Increasing violence along the Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal appeared intimately and viciously linked with the illegal trafficking business of human beings, cows, narcotics, fake currency and gold as reported by sources of Intelligence. As illegal trafficking and smuggling businesses faced governmental challenges under NDA, tension hit the smugglers ecosystem.
The border adjacent to Baduria and Basirhat in West Bengal is infamous for illegal trafficking of bovine cattles at the rate of about 4,000 cattles per day whereas the Government of India’s cattle regulations of 2014 had posed mandatory restraint on this illegal business imposing huge burden of loss upon cattle smugglers. Trafficking businesses allegedly fund Islamic terrorists in Bangladesh as well as in India.
Mamata Banerjee offering namaz
Each cow is reported to be sold at Rs. 55,000 in India as against around Rs. 1,50,000 in Bangladesh amounting to a gain of approximately 200 per cent per animal if sold in Bangladesh. The business volume radically reduced as trafficking got significantly curtailed through Bengal-border after 2014. Cow trafficking agents had to find an alternative route through Brahmaputra river from Dhubri in Assam through which a maximum of 400 cows were sent across the border a day—much lesser a business volume for smugglers.
The sudden downfall in cattle trafficking choked and weakened the crime economy across the border which could well be the real reason for communal turmoil in Baduria, Basirhat, Swarupnagar. Violence broke out as men involved in cow trafficking attacked police stations allegedly for destroying documents against them collected and retained by police. Trafficking economy reportedly fed around 30,000 people of the area choking of which marred the whole area with violence.
An excited Mamata Banerjee confessed that she had tried her level best to convince some Muslim leaders to put off the fire of communal riot. Instead of controlling riot by police and administration, she engaged in negotiating with Islamic fundamentalists. Press asked her to disclose the names of those religious leaders which, however, was not done by Mamata Banerjee, nor by CMO
The jihadis communalised the situation by anti-national sloganeering. Their slogans like ‘Nara-e-taqbeer’, ‘Allah Hu Akbar’, ‘Narendra Modi-BJP-RSS Murdabad’ vitiated the atmosphere. They also came up with the divisive slogan ‘Aryajati Bharat theke dur hatho’. Terrorists did havoc— vandalised, looted and burnt several houses and other properties of Hindus like shops, businesses and even destroyed temples. Along with these, they attacked Baduria Police Station.
Reality is that Islamic fundamentalists gained strength in West Bengal steadily and gradually during the TMC regime. On October 22, 2014, Siddikullah Choudhury, a veteran Jamat leader who became a minister of Independent Charge of Education, Library and Parliamentary Affairs and contesting from Manteswar AC this year, said during a rally at the historic Curzon Gate of Burdwan that Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind will provide advocates to fight the UAPA cases slapped upon the four accused in Khagragarh blast case. As per NIA investigation, Khagragarh blast had been found to be one of the most dangerous anti-national terrorist activities of present time. TMC had sent Ahmed Hassan Imran, founder president of SIMI in West Bengal, to Indian Parliament as an MP. He was allegedly the key person behind the Naliakhali riot in Canning South 24 Parganas. Firad Hakim (Bobby) proudly declared his Assembly constituency as “ Mini Pakistan” (Dawn, April 29, 2016) and became the most powerful person in Mamata’s cabinet. To indicate inferiority of Hindus in West Bengal, the ‘Canvasser of Mini Pakistan’ had been awarded with Chairmanship of Tarakeswar Development Board and of “Dakshineswar Skywalk Project”. These gestures of Mamata Banerjee gave clear signals to Jihadi fundamentalists that they could attempt to persecute Hindus in West Bengal, Mamata’s administration would not touch them.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister reportedly made unparliamentary remarks against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. She described them as outsiders even as the Home Minister evinced confidence that Mamata Banerjee will receive a drubbing at Nandigram.
Given below is the tentative enlistment of Damaged Properties in Bashirhat Riot.