KOLKATA: Restrictions on assembly and movement of people have been imposed in parts of Kolkata following communal violence on Sunday night. Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in the city’s Mominpur and Ekbalpore areas for three days from Monday, barring the gathering of four or more people, rallies and demonstrations.
Clashes between two communities broke out in Kolkata’s Port area over the issue of displaying communal flags on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi. Both groups pelted stones and hurled bottles at each other, damaging several vehicles. Incidents of bomb-throwing and vandalism were also reported. Several shops were torched. Five policemen, including two IPS officers, were injured after being attacked by the mob.
Police sources said 36 persons were arrested on Monday over the violence.
BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Governor La. Ganesan demanded immediate action. He also urged the home ministry to deploy central forces in the violence-hit areas. A large number of police personnel and contingents of Rapid Action Force have been deployed in the areas.
Adhikari alleged that power supply to the trouble-torn area was disrupted for three hours on Sunday night. “Power supply was snapped deliberately to help a community to unleash terror. Taking advantage of the darkness, Hindus were attacked,’’ he said. Adhikari also went to Lalbazar police headquarters and met Police Commissioner Vineet Goyal.
Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Murli Dhar said the trouble started on Saturday over displaying of flags of a group. “We arrested two persons immediately after the incident and sorted out the issue. The situation worsened on Sunday night when one group staged a demonstration in front of a local police station and the other group attacked them. Soon, the violence spread and when intervened, police were also attacked. Four cases were lodged and the arrested persons were charged with spreading communal discord,’’ he added.