Malda Violence Was 'BSF Vs People', Claims Mamata Banerjee

Malda Violence Was 'BSF Vs People', Claims Mamata Banerjee

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The BJP has accused Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress of protecting those behind Sunday's violence.

Kolkata:  The mob violence in West Bengal's Malda district was not a communal incident but a clash between local people and the Border Security Force or BSF, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today.

After maintaining complete silence on the incident at Malda's Kaliachak for days, Ms Banerjee today responded to a question, saying, "That's different. It was a BSF versus people struggle. State was not involved. It was not a communal programme."

"I think you should not ask this question. That is distorted, misinformed. What happened there was a fight between people and BSF. That is not within party, state government or police. We managed the situation."

The BSF declined to comment on the remarks.

On Sunday, over one lakh Muslim protesters took out a procession at Kaliachak against a hate speech by a right wing leader in Uttar Pradesh in December. The demonstrators then went on a rampage, setting a police station and several vehicles on fire. One person sustained a bullet injury.

A rally of nearly one lakh Muslim protesters went on a rampage in Malda on Sunday with demonstrators setting a police station on fire.

According to police sources, the demonstrations had spiralled out of control after a BSF vehicle got stuck in the traffic jam caused by the procession and an altercation flared between the protesters and BSF personnel.

Some sources also suggest the Kaliachak police station was targeted to burn down crime records. With Assembly elections just months away, the police is expected to begin a crackdown on people with criminal records.

Malda is believed to be a hub of a fake currency racket and according to the National Investigation Agency, 90 per cent of the fake currency that enters India from Pakistan via Bangladesh comes in from Malda which borders the neighbouring country.

Contesting questions about the incident at a business summit in Kolkata, Ms Banerjee in her inaugural address yesterday and closing address today said there was no communal trouble in Bengal.

The Home Ministry has asked Ms Banerjee's government to submit a report on the violence. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, may visit Malda and Kaliachak later this month.

The BJP has accused Ms Banerjee's Trinamool Congress of protecting those behind Sunday's violence.

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