Fresh Attacks On Hindus In Bengal’s Hooghly, Victims Allege Police Inaction

by Swarajya Staff - May 13, 2020 11:04 AM +05:30 IST
Fresh Attacks On Hindus In Bengal’s Hooghly, Victims Allege Police InactionTelinipara in Hooghly 
Snapshot
  • Tuesday morning saw fresh attacks on Hindus at Telinipara, about 40 kilometres north of Kolkata.

Telinipara in West Bengal’s Hooghly, which has become the ground zero of attacks on Hindus since Sunday night, saw fresh attacks and violence on Tuesday with bombs being hurled and business establishments belonging to Hindus being torched.

The police, allege locals, remained mute spectators.

According to local people, the root of all the trouble was the refusal by Muslims to follow lockdown restrictions.

A number of Muslims of neighbouring Urdibazar who had returned from Ajmer recently had reportedly tested Covid-19 positive. But Muslims of the area were not following lockdown restrictions and were roaming around freely.

Hooghly Lok Sabha MP Locket Chatterjee said that Hindus of the area, alarmed over the prospect of getting infected by the deadly virus, erected barricades to stop outsiders from entering their areas. Hindus of some areas in neighbouring Chandannagar, an erstwhile French colony, also did the same.

But, said Chatterjee, Muslims broke the barricades and insisted on entering areas where Hindus are in a majority. “They did so intentionally with the sole objective of spreading the virus,” the MP said in a video recording. Hindus objected to Muslims not observing lockdown restrictions, and that led to Muslims attacking the Hindus, said Chatterjee.

Chatterjee alleged that the police reached the ravaged areas only after the attackers had left.

By that time, many houses and business establishments belonging to Hindus, including jewellery shops, were attacked and looted. She said that police had also erected barricades as part of the measures to enforce lockdown restrictions, but the Muslims broke through those barricades as well.

Chandannagar Police Commissioner Humayun Kabir was quoted as saying in this news report that the attacks were sparked by members of one community (Muslims) being subjected to ‘corona’ taunts.

After a verbal spat that ensued, public toilets used by Muslims in the Victoria Jute Mills area of Telinipara were barricaded by locals (Hindus) there. That led to the violence, said the Police Commissioner.

Tuesday morning saw fresh attacks on Hindus at Telinipara, about 40 kilometres north of Kolkata (see this). Videos circulated by locals that went viral on social media showed thick plumes of smoke from houses and shops belonging to Hindus on which bombs were allegedly hurled and set ablaze by huge Muslim mobs.

Hooghly Lok Sabha MP Locket Chatterjee alleged the attacks on Hindus were premeditated and despite Section 144 being in force, the police did not prevent Muslim mobs from gathering and attacking Hindus. She also alleged that lethal weapons were transported in ambulances and women and children were also attacked.

BJP leader Rahul Sinha warned that if the attacks on Hindus at Telinipara and Chandanagar don’t stop and if strong action is not taken against the attackers, the situation would take a bad turn and violence could engulf other areas of the state.

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