KOLKATA: The Union home ministry on Wednesday sought a report from the West Bengal government and offered to deploy Central paramilitary forces in areas hit by communal violence in the state. The Trinamool Congress government is yet to respond to the offer.
The move came after Asansol MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah of the law and order situation in the state on Tuesday night.
Communal skirmishes continued for the fourth day, with bullets fired and bombs hurled in Asansol’s Railpar area even as neighbouring Raniganj limped back to relative normalcy with shops opening and a curfew relaxed on Wednesday.
The fresh violence in Asansol occurred a day after the administration stopped all Ram Navami processions in the city after two groups clashed over a procession at Railpar on Tuesday evening. Arson and looting were reported and police vehicles were torched.
In Hill Basti and Kumarbazaar areas of Raniganj, tension prevailed on Tuesday evening, with agitated locals stoning the car of Asansol mayor Jitender Tiwari, who had gone to the spot to pacify residents. Asansol-Durgapur commissioner L N Meena said the city was cordoned off and residents told not to heed rumours.
The situation eased by Wednesday morning, with shops opening and members of both communities sharing cups of tea in a display of harmony. Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Raniganj leader Sajal Mitra was arrested under the Arms Act on Wednesday for displaying weapons on March 25.
Javadekar likens CM Mamata to Nero
New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday accused Mamata Banerjee of abdicating her constitutional responsibility. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar alleged the West Bengal CM was in the national capital trying to form an anti-BJP alliance even as parts of the state were in the grip of communal violence. “As Nero fiddled while Rome burnt, Mamata Banerjee, too, is out of the state to nurture her political ambitions in the national capital,” he said.