- Violence erupted in Magurkhali village of Bhaduria block last week
- Residents say village has no history of communal unrest
- Men on motorcycles came to attack teen who wrote offensive Facebook post
How many men came is still not clear, the residents said. "When we saw them coming in, most of us ran inside," said Shahjahan Mondal, a villager, said. But locals said the mob came for a 17-year-old boy, whose Facebook post against Prophet Mohammed had sparked the chain of violence that spread to neighbouring Basirhat two days later, leaving at least one person dead and several injured. Arson and rioting forced authorities to clamp down restrictions on large gatherings.
Most residents of Magurkhali said the mob that attacked the home of the teenager's uncle and set it on fire came from outside. Some added even if locals were present they were not part of the violence.
Some villagers said they tried protecting the house but were outnumbered by the attackers. After the mob left, locals, including Muslims from the nearby mosque put out the blaze themselves and started looking for the teenager to ensure he was safe.
"We don't want this communal trouble. We go to their houses for their festivals. They come to our house for Durga Puja. This is how we have lived for years," added Jibon Haldar, a Hindu resident of the village.
Ranjeet Mondal, a resident of the village, said he was caught in the violence but his Muslim classmates saved him.
The village takes pride in communal harmony. The local mosque is sandwiched between Hindu homes. The Imam in charge said they are ensuring that Hindu families are not harassed over the trigger Facebook post that has hurt feelings of Muslims. He said the administration should have stopped the mobs and there was no need for violence as the boy had already been arrested.
"I am seeing this for the first time in my life. This happened because of a small thing. Some outsiders came and did this and locals were caught unawares. If the administration had told people that the boy had been arrested the matter would not have become so big," Maulana Yasin Saheb told NDTV.
In a defining symbol of the village's harmony, situated right next to a mosque in Magurkhali is the residence of 42-year-old Biswajit Dey who makes idols of Hindu gods for a living.