BJP Attacks Mamata Banerjee Over Dhulagarh Violence, Trinamool Hits Back

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Dhulagarh violence peaked last Wednesday and the police had to rush in to control bombing and arson


Dhulagarh, Howrah:  In West Bengal, Dhulagarh, about 35 kilometres from Kolkata, is tense for over a week after clashes erupted over a procession to mark the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet.

On Tuesday, both the BJP and the Congress were not allowed to enter the area by the police though no fresh clashes have been reported.

Locals allege trouble erupted over the route of a religious procession last Monday. Some locals claim the violence was unprovoked, while others say that the procession was stoned.

Violence peaked last Wednesday and the police had to rush in to control bombing and arson, allegedly by local criminals. But by then houses and shops were ransacked and burnt.

Dhulagarh, locals say, has many Muslim majority areas and many villagers who fled claim they were targeted because of religion. 41-year-old Subrata Khara claims he was beaten and his arm broken. "We are living far away from home now. There is nothing left. They have broken everything," he told NDTV.

Police have been patrolling the area and the Rapid Action Force is on standby. The BJP blames the Mamata Banerjee government for failing to control communal clashes in the state and compared Dhulagarh to the Kaliachak incident in Malda, earlier this year.

West Bengal is a bomb making factory, said local BJP leaders, and Ms Banerjee is doing minority appeasement according to them. "She must break her silence on the communal violence. The Bengal Police is walking along with you to protect criminals - is this your state policy?" asked BJP's Siddharth Nath Singh.

Trinamool lawmaker Derek O'Brien hit back soon after by tweeting "Communal friend (from Panama), your party again tried divisive stunts in Bengal People here will always reject these communal politics."

49 people have been arrested over the last week and amidst claims and counter claims the police are probing the violence. The administration says it has restricted the entry of political groups to the area to prevent any further escalation of tension, even as Dhulagarh slowly returns to calm.


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