Days after clashes broke out between two communities at Telinipara in Hooghly district, the District Magistrate issued prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC in the area and suspended internet services, including broadband, in Chandannagar and Serampore subdivisions till 6 pm on Sunday. The decisions were taken after fake news and misinformation about the clashes were being circulated on social media platforms.
Violent clashes took place in Telinipara area after members of one community got into a verbal altercation with members of another over why they were roaming around during the lockdown even after five of their community members tested positive for Covid-19.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had slammed a section of BJP leaders for allegedly instigating communal clashes and said those who would be found guilty would not be spared.
“I have told police to take the strictest action. Those who violated the lockdown and indulged in communal clashes will be tried under the National Disaster Management Act. None will be spared. We will not see whether the person belongs to community A or B,” the chief minister had said.
After the CM’s strong warning, raids were conducted. As many as 56 people were arrested on Tuesday. A day before, 37 people were arrested in connection with the clashes.
“In total, 93 people have been arrested so far. We are conducting further raids,” said a senior police officer of West Bengal Police.
On Wednesday, police stopped BJP MPs Locket Chatterjee and Arjun Singh from visiting the clash-affected areas. They also wanted to meet the Hooghly District Magistrate Y Ratnakar Rao. However, Rao could not meet them as he was busy attending a video conference.
“The DM does not have time to meet us. I am an MP from Hooghly, and yet I cannot meet the DM. We have raised this issue with Lok Sabha Speaker. The police is not taking action against members of a particular community. The situation is being allowed to deteriorate by the state government,” said Chatterjee.
State Urban Development Minister and senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim visited the affected area and held a meeting with police officers there. He directed the police and administration to offer compensation to those whose houses and properties had been destroyed.
“Stern action will be taken against those who were responsible for the incident. Peace process should start soon,” said Hakim.