Security personnel have been deployed in Asansol to maintain law and order after clashes broke out
Keshari Nath Tripathi, the West Bengal Governor today reached Asansol that is turning into a political hotspot after communal clashes singed the town since Ram Navami on Sunday. "I have come with a message of peace," Governor Tripathi told NDTV. His first stop a community hall where Hindu 150-200 women and children were earlier put up. He took stock of the situation in violence-hit areas of Asansol, 200 km from Kolkata, at a meeting with senior police officers and will later, head to neighbouring Raniganj where one person died and two police officers suffered serious injuries.
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- On Sunday, a team of four BJP MPs is also expected to visit the place on orders from BJP president Amit Shah.
- The CPM has also sought permission to hold a peace rally in Asansol on Sunday but the police is yet to give permission.
- Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi had wanted to go on Wednesday to meet the police officer whose hand was almost blown off by a bomb in a clash at Ranigunj on Monday. But the state government advised him not to as the situation was still tense and it would not be possible to provide necessary security.
- On Friday, the state government agreed to facilitate the governor's visit. He will, however, not be able to meet Deputy Commissioner of Police Arindam Dutta Chowdhury as the officer has been shifted from a private hospital in Durgapur, near Asansol, to Coimbatore for further treatment of his arm which had four fractures and severe tissue damage.
- Roopa Ganguly, the Rajya Sabha MP from Bengal, who is part of the four-member team for Asansol, had been told to go to Dhulagarh in December 2016 after communal clashes there. She had, however, fallen ill and could not make it.
- Om Prakash Mathur, MP from Rajasthan will accompany Ms Ganguly. He was part of a team that included Meenakshi Lekhi who were arrested when trying to go to Bashirhat after riots there in July 2017.
- Also headed for Asansol is former MP from Bhagalpur, Shahnawaz Hussain and Vishnu Dayal Ram, MP from Palamu in Jharkhand.
- Mr Ram was in a BJP team to Malda, in January 2016 when minority mobs burnt down a police station and rampaged through Kaliachak. The team could not reach Kaliachak and was turned back by police from the Malda railway station itself.
- Will Babul Supriyo, the BJP's MP from Asansol, go back to his constituency for the governor's visit or the visit by the BJP team? That's not clear yet. He is already in a bit of a spot with the police who filed an FIR against him on Thursday for obstructing policemen from doing their duty and violating prohibitory orders under Section 144.
- He got into a heated argument and a near scuffle when he insisted on visiting homes of locals who were staying at a relief camp and said their houses had been vandalized. The Union Minister also filed a tit for tat FIR against the police for obstructing his movements.
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