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Union Minister Babul Supriyo Barred From Entering Tense Asansol-Raniganj Area, Booked

Citing security reasons, police stopped the car of the Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises as he tried to enter the Railpar area in the district.

IANS

Updated:March 30, 2018, 12:01 AM IST
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Union Minister Babul Supriyo Barred From Entering Tense Asansol-Raniganj Area, Booked
File photo of Babul Supriyo. (PTI Photo)
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Kolkata: Amid the prevailing tension in parts of Raniganj and adjoining areas in West Bengal's Paschim Burdwan district following clashes over Ram Navami rallies, Union Minister Babul Supriyo was on Thursday not allowed to enter the area.

An FIR against the minister was also lodged for violation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPc, L.N. Meena, Commissioner of Asansol-Durgapur Police, told IANS over phone.

Citing security reasons, police stopped the car of the Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises as he tried to enter the Railpar area in the district.

"As a public representative, it is my duty to be with the people when they are in trouble and I have every right to visit my constituency. Police was saying that I would not be allowed to go as Section 144 is imposed in the area.

"Being a minister, I cannot violate rules," said Asansol MP Supriyo who also engaged in a verbal duel with police personnel surrounding his car.

Incidentally, a group of people raised slogans against the minister demanding that he should leave the area.

"People of Ranigunj are attacked, police force is outnumbered and severely injured. And the Mamata government could only muster cutting off internet connectivity for 2 days? Because goons on the streets have been downloading weapons and bombs off the internet, is it now," Supriyo tweeted later.

Actress-turned politician Locket Chatterjee, who is the state BJP Mahila Morcha President, was supposed to visit Raniganj but was also stopped by police at Durgapur.

Criticising the BJP leaders' attempt to enter the area, West Bengal Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee blamed the ruling party at the Centre for the unrest.

"The immediate task is to restore peace and bring normalcy in the area. When the police and the state government are trying to take confidence building measures, why do they want to visit Raniganj?," he said.

Several shops and houses were vandalised and set ablaze over the Ram Navami related clashes in parts of the district and 19 people have been arrested for fomenting trouble.

A clash also broke out between two groups around a Ram Navami procession in Raniganj on Monday. A person was allegedly hacked to death while a Deputy Commissioner of Police lost a hand after getting hit by a bomb.

According to police, no fresh incident of violence was reported from the area since last night.

A special team comprising senior police officers Siddhinath Gupta, Jawed Shamim and Vineet Goyal was dispatched to prevent any more untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, there was intense police patrolling on Thursday in the area, especially in the Dhadka area, where a police vehicle was vandalised and two Trinamool offices were set on fire in violence on Tuesday.

The BJP, which is trying to pitchfork itself as the main challenger to the Trinamool in the state, has been using the Ram Navami celebrations since last year to appeal to the sentiments of the majority Hindu population.

Sensing the BJP's motive, the ruling Trinamool Congress also celebrated the occasion massively on its own this year.

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