Thirty-seven people have been detained after a clash between two communities in West Bengal's Hooghly district on Sunday night. A huge police team had to be posted in the tense Telinipara area to ensure calm. There has been no further incident in the last 24 hours.
"Last evening, swift and strong action was taken in Telinipara against those who were trying to disturb the peace. The situation was immediately brought under control. Telinipara is peaceful now," state home secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said in a tweet on Monday.
"Police will not allow any provocation, and strict action will be taken against anyone who tries to create disturbance including those who are posting and circulating false information," he added.
Trouble broke out when some people from Wardibazar area tried to enter the Telinipara area last evening. Wardibazar reportedly had some COVID-19 cases and several people in quarantine. So when 10-odd people from there headed to Telinipara, apparently to use a public toilet, locals objected and clash broke out.
The police fired 26 rounds of tear gas and ten rounds of rubber bullets to bring the situation under control.
Dilip Ghosh, the Bengal BJP chief and MP, said, "Bombs and guns were used and the clash turned communal, an example of law and order breakdown in Bengal. A fight against corona turned into a communal fight."
Trinamool MLA Prabir Ghoshal said, "They are turning a small incident into a big one and doing politics. People will see through them."
BJP MP Locket Chatterjee, who rushed to the area, was not allowed into Telinipara by the police, which had cordoned the area off. She claimed there was looting and arson last night and that the attack was pre-planned.
"We are trying to spread awareness about Corona but they are accusing us of being vultures," Ms Chatterjee said. "If we don't alert people about the virus, they will not be careful," she added.
The incident even caught the attention of the BJP's IT cell. Amit Malviya tweeted, " In WB, under Mamata Banerjee, 'vote bank' patronised by TMC held the state to ransom, flouted Covid guidelines at will without fear of law".
Tension has also been reported from Harishchandrapur in Malda over people from a neighbouring village entering the area. The neighbouring village has reported some Covid-19 cases.