Muslim Hawker Allegedly Beaten over 'Jai Shri Ram' Chants in Bengal; Internet Suspended After Tension
No arrest has been reported in connection with the incident. Meanwhile, the TMC and the BJP blamed each other for the incident.
Asansol/West Bengal: Tension prevailed in Hirapur area near here after a Muslim hawker was allegedly beaten up and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans, following which authorities have suspended internet services and stepped up security.
After the Tuesday night incident, "fake" videos and photographs of Hindu-Muslim riots were being circulated on the social media to vitiate the atmosphere, police said on Thursday, adding they have increased vigil to avoid any untoward incident.
According to officials, a Muslim hawker in his mid-forties was beaten up on Tuesday evening by a group of youths who allegedly forced him to chant "Jai Shri Ram". He was later admitted to a local hospital.
No arrest has been reported in connection with the incident.
"We decided to snap internet services so that no one is able to vitiate the atmosphere through use of fake videos and photographs. Police patrolling is also on. The situation is presently under control," Asansol police commissioner DP Singh told PTI.
The internet services will remain suspended for the time being, he said. The ruling TMC and the BJP blamed each other for the incident.
Senior TMC leader and Asansol mayor Jitendra Tiwari accused the BJP of trying to destroy the secular fabric of the area since the victory of the saffron party in the Lok Sabha polls.
"Since the result of Lok Sabha polls, this has been a regular affair. The BJP thinks it can win seats in the area in the 2021 assembly polls by creating a communal divide," Tiwari told PTI.
Babul Supriyo, the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate, had been re-elected from Asansol this time.
State BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu denied the charges as "baseless" and said such incidents only prove that the state government has failed to maintain law and order.
The issue of mob violence and lynching was raised by a group of 49 eminent personalities, including filmmakers, authors and actors, who wrote to the prime minister on Tuesday, expressing concern over such incidents.
The signatories also said that they regretted that 'Jai Shri Ram' has been reduced to a "provocative war cry that leads to law and order problems, and lynchings take place in its name".
Reacting to it, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had said no one should communalise criminal incidents and asserted that Dalits and minorities are safe in the country.
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