A Muslim mob went on the rampage in Duttapukur, North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on New Years’ eve. The ‘provocation’ – the death of a Muslim man accused of sexually assaulting a woman.
Internet services were suspended followed by imposition of section 144 in the surrounding area after the mob set out rioting and vandalizing through the town majorly inhabited by Hindus.
It all started on New Years’ eve. Like every year a local club of Duttapukur, Pragati Sangha, had organized a fair with local people, including the deceased Asadul Islam, selling several daily use items. According to locals, a Hindu woman was trying to buy something from Asadul’s shop when he started misbehaving with her. Local netizens suggest he molested the woman, who then approached the club with her complaint. Some reports suggest the woman was raped.
Members of the club came to the spot and took Asadul inside the club. It is alleged that they beat up the shopkeeper for his misconduct. Few hours later, his body was found handing inside the club. The members of Pragati Sangha claim that Asadul had committed suicide.
Duttapukur, North 24 Parganas, Bengal.
Asadul Islam was found dead at a local club after he had been beaten up for abusing a woman.
A peaceful mob reportedly went on rampage, setting shops on fire, vandalising a temple, destroying ATMs. pic.twitter.com/RXonkLdXG2
— Chayan Chatterjee (@Satyanewshi) January 3, 2020
However, the news of Asadul Islam’s unnatural death spread like wildfire in no time. As usual, in minutes a huge gathering of violent Muslim rioters came together. First, they broke into the club and tore it down, destroying furniture and other items. While some hooligans from the mob attacked the club, others formed a barricade to prohibit the police from entering the club and stopping their vandalism.
It is alleged that West Bengal Police stood there watching as the rioters, after tearing down the club, proceeded to destroy all the make-shift shops in the fair.
Peaceful vandalisation of family of rapist belongs to "vote bank" Islamic community pic.twitter.com/wtbQnAsX1W
— বানীব্রত দাশগুপ্ত (@Bunibroto) January 2, 2020
Not satiated with destroying the club and shops in the fair over the death of their molestation accused co-religionist, the mob directed their rampage toward other shops and houses in the area, and burnt down many Hindu homes, vehicles and properties. Public properties like ATMs, electric posts and streetlights were also taken down by these rabid radicals.
As per reports, a Hindu temple situated in the area became their ultimate target and ended up being desecrated. They further blocked train-lines and roads, bringing a halt to the local train service in the area. The busy Sealdah – Bongaon trainline remained suspended for a day, causing harassment to thousands of daily passengers who depend on this train route for their everyday commute.
As the situation intensified, rioters resorted to hurling of stones, sticks and bombs. The police could come to the rescue of the civilians only after the town was already in shambles. Many police officials also became a target of the bombs flying from all directions and ended up injured. This forced authorities to call additional police forces, who finally managed to take control of the situation after a lathi charge and tear gas shelling. Asadul Islam’s body was then removed from the club.
Duttapukur, and nearby areas like Amdanga and Deganga remain under the imposition of section 144. Police have so far arrested 12 rioters.
Though initially local and dominantly secular media tried to bury the issue due to the communal color of the incident, only after social media members started sharing ground reports and videos from the site, was the media forced to bring the matter to public knowledge.
It is interesting to note that the same left-liberal elites who are crying themselves hoarse over imposition of Section 144 and suspension of internet by UP administration in wake of fierce anti-CAA rioting in that state, are totally silent over use of the same two measures by WB administration to control the violent mob in Duttapukur. In fact, if WB police had cracked down on the violent mob sooner, the extensive damage to public and private property may have been avoided.
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