Bengal violence: 48 people held, toll rises to three

Some pockets in three districts still tense, Union minister Babul Supriyo alleges police didn’t pick up his calls

Published: 28th March 2018 04:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2018 04:37 AM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Babul Supriyo speaks to the media after discussing Raniganj violence with West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathy in Kolkata | PTI

Express News Service

KOLKATA: Forty-Eight people were arrested in connection with the communal violence that have claimed three lives during the Ram Navami processions brought out in different parts of West Bengal over the past three days.

Tension prevailed at Beldi village in Purulia district, Raniganj in Paschim Burdwan district and Kankinara in North 24 Parganas district on Tuesday where three people fell victims to the communal violence.
While two daily wage labourers died in communal violence in Purulia and Raniganj on March 25 and 26 respectively, a balloon seller succumbed to bullet injuries in a communal clash at Kankinara in North 24 Parganas district on Monday night.

Seventeen people were arrested in connection with the Purulia incident, 18 for the Raniganj violence and 13 over the Kankinara clash. Section 144 of CrPC has been clamped in the three areas.Police pickets were placed in sensitive pockets, and Rapid Action Force battalions conducted flag marches and regulated movement in and out of Raniganj. Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissioner L N Meena said police picket will continue until complete normalcy is restored. Purulia Superintendent of Police Joy Biswas also said pickets at Beldi village will continue.

On the other hand, right-wing Bajrang Dal activists staged a dharna in front of the Purulia Sadar police station on Tuesday alleging that their activists were falsely implicated.Meanwhile, Union minister and Asansol MP Babul Supriyo alleged that he was not provided security cover by the police during the Raniganj violence. “None of the top police officers received my phone calls for help when I reached the spot just as flames in Raniganj shops were being doused,” he told reporters in Kolkata.

Raniganj’s CPI-M MLA Runu Dutta had similar allegations against the administration.VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal ‘congratulated’ the Hindus of the eastern state for bringing out more than 700 Ram Navami processions. BJP’s Asansol district president Tapas Ray said the Raniganj violence was religious in nature and had nothing to do with politics.

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