The situation in Ekbalpore area of southwest Kolkata was peaceful on Tuesday morning with police keeping a close watch on the neighbourhood that witnessed communal clashes, officials said. Forty-one people were arrested in connection with the clashes, they said.
“No untoward incident was reported from the Ekbalpore-Mominpore area since Monday evening. The situation is peaceful. Heavy police deployment has been made," a senior Kolkata Police official told PTI. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in the area, which will continue till Wednesday.
“Senior police officers are in the area and prepared to deal with any untoward incident," the official said. Seven police personnel, including deputy commissioner (southwest) Saumya Roy, were injured in the clashes.
BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar on Monday wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah over “communal violence in West Bengal” and requested him to take measures for the safety and security of citizens of the state.
Sarkar said the recent clashes in Khidderpore Mominpur area of Kolkata “should not be looked as one in isolation” and recalled the previous incidents of communal violence in Malda, Nadia and Murshidabad, North 24 Paraganas.
The BJP MP also called for the centre to proactively respond to the situation and protect the lives and properties of “innocent citizens" of West Bengal. “Otherwise the police administration, which has been made to serve the ruling party’s diktat to fulfil their agenda to protect their vote bank through divisive tactics will continue to lead such violence causing loss of lives and properties of Hindus in West Bengal," he wrote.
West Bengal | Union Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar writes to Home Minister Amit Shah over “communal violence in West Bengal" and requests him to take measures for the safety & security of citizens of the state pic.twitter.com/6HnK6T5iet— ANI (@ANI) October 10, 2022
More than 30 people have been detained in connection with sporadic clashes that broke out between two communities in South Kolkata’s Khidderpore-Mominpur, as per news reports. Clashes between two communities led to communal tension in the area starting Sunday night.
Subsequently, section 144 was imposed in Ekbalpur area for three days, starting from October 10 till October 12 as several houses were left ransacked and vehicles damaged. Local residents informed the police that what started as verbal spats between two groups resulted in clashes.
While the police tried to control the situation, some cops, including a deputy commissioner of police, were also injured. A group of people also staged a protest in front of the local Ekbalpur police station.
On Monday, after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president in West Bengal and party MP Sukanta Majumdar started moving towards the troubled zone, a huge police contingent stopped him from approaching that spot. Majumdar, along with four of his associates, was also detained.
Leader of the opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari also wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding deployment of central forces personnel at the troubled zones in the city.
Adhikari said the situation was very bad in the Khidderpore-Mominpur area. “Several members of Hindu community have left the area. Over 100 shops were looted, 30 bikes were set ablaze,” he said, adding five to ten commercial taxis were vandalised, and several people got injured.
“People have changed the name of Bengal Police, they call it Mamata Police,” said Adhikary.
BJP leader Amit Malviya shared a visual from the violence and blamed the West Bengal government. “Under Mamata Banerjee as Home Minister, Kolkata has become completely unsafe, communal riots have become common,” he tweeted.
In a sharp retort, the ruling TMC accused the BJP of trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the state. TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh on Monday accused the BJP of doing vulture politics amid an intensifying war of words between the ruling camp and the Opposition over the violence
“Police and administration did everything required (to control violence). The BJP is provoking and trying to give colour to it. No clashes should take place ideally, but they happened. Now it is under control,” Ghosh told news agency ANI.