Rajnath Singh May Visit Malda Where One Lakh Protesters Went On Rampage

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Rajnath Singh May Visit Malda Where One Lakh Protesters Went On Rampage

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On Sunday, over a lakh protesters gathered for a rally called by a little-known Muslim organization Idara-e-Shariya against a right-wing activist's alleged hate speech in Uttar Pradesh.

Malda:  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh could later this month visit West Bengal's Malda district, where one lakh protesters went on the rampage on Sunday in a town called Kaliachak, setting fire to a police station and damaging vehicles.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
  1. The centre has also asked the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal to submit an early report on the violence and the state's BJP unit has sought the Governor's intervention.
  2. Accusing the state government of shielding those behind the violence, the BJP's Rahul Sinha today alleged that the Kaliachak police station was set on fire to destroy criminal records and pointed out that prime suspects have not been arrested. The Communist Party of India-Marxist also criticised the government for "failing to control communal incidents".
  3. There has so far been total silence on the Malda violence from chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the state police and the ruling Trinamool Congress party but seven policemen from the police station where the incident happened have been transferred.
  4. On Sunday, over a lakh protesters gathered for a rally called by a little-known Muslim organization Idara-e-Shariya against a right-wing activist's alleged hate speech in Uttar Pradesh.
  5. The protesters, some of whom were allegedly armed, blocked traffic on the National Highway 34 that runs past Kaliachak. A Border Security Force jeep was stuck in the traffic. BSF officials in the jeep got into an angry altercation with protesters. There are unconfirmed reports that someone fired in the air during the altercation.
  6. The crowd then ransacked the jeep and attacked the Kaliachak police station and vehicles parked outside it. They also ransacked police barracks and a Block Development Officer's office.
  7. Police sources said the mob also ransacked a locality where mostly Hindus live, but there was no retaliation and so no clashes and no loss of lives.
  8. Assembly polls are due later this year in  Bengal, where almost 30 per cent voters are Muslim. Their swing away from the Left played an important role in Mamata Banerjee's stunning victory in 2011.
  9. 51 per cent of Malda, which borders Bangladesh, is Muslim. The Trinamool won just one assembly seat out of 12 in 2011 but since then, defections from the Congress and the Left have brought the TMC's tally up to five. Two Lok Sabha seats were won by the Congress in 2014.
  10. The BJP has so far been a minor player in the state. It got 16 per cent vote share in 2014 but its performance was poorer in recent civic polls. It is now targeting the Assembly polls. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP increased its vote share in Malda by almost 15 per cent.

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