BJP's "fact-finding" team were not allowed to go further than the Malda railway station by the Mamata Banerjee administration yesterday
Malda: The Centre will send a team of officials to Malda to ascertain facts about the recent mob violence, as political parties trade allegations over the incident in West Bengal, where assembly elections are now months away.
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Government sources said the Centre could also look into allegations that lawmakers and political activists were involved in the attack by a lakh-strong crowd of protesters on a a police station and vehicles belonging to the Border Security Force.
It is also expected to investigate the role of a Muslit organisation called the Idra-e-Sharia, which had called the march that turned violent in Malda, in protest against a Hindu right-wing leader's alleged comments about Prophet Mohammad in Uttar Pradesh last month.
A BJP delegation met Home Minister Rajnath Singh today demanded a high-level probe. It included a three-member fact-finding team that was not allowed to go further than the Malda railway station by the Mamata Banerjee administration yesterday.
Senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, who has charge of West Bengal in the BJP, alleged today that "local Trinamool Congress and Janata Dal United workers were involved" in the Malda violence and attacked the state government and local administration for failing to stop violence.
Janata Dal United lawmaker Ghulam Rasool, who allegedly has links with the Idra-e-Sharia, has denied allegations that he was part of mob. "I was not there. My name has been dragged into it," said Mr Rasool, a Rajya Sabha MP, linking the allegations to the Bengal elections.
The BJP's Siddharth Nath Singh said Mr Rasool's "role in Malda has been exposed," and demanded that top JDU leaders Nitish Kumar and SHarad Yadav act against their party lawmaker.
The BJP has also accused the Mamata Banerjee government of protecting anti-social elements. "Mamata Banerjee and her government are playing dirty vote bank politics in Bengal. Anti-social elements are being protected by them," Siddharth Nath SIngh said.
Main opposition party in Bengal, the CPM has also attacked the Mamata Banerjee government for failure contain Sunday's violence. A CPM team of politicians led by MP Md Salim was also stopped from going to Kaliachak yesterday.
Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has accused the BJP and its ideological mentor the RSS of trying to turn a "criminal issue" into a "communal" one in view of the assembly elections. Trinamool lawmaker Derek O'Brien alleged that the BJP leaders were stopped from going to Kaliachak as they wanted to "fan the fire" and polarize voters.
Lalu Prasad Yadav of the RJD, BJP-baiter and ally of the JDU in Bihar has too hit out at the BJP. "The BJP tries to create disturbances and thus target vote bank... The RSS-BJP earns through communalism. They want to divide the nation," he said, calling the Malda incident "condemnable."