Basirhat riots: Mamata fulminates against Governor

Is the Basirhat riot a reflection of Mamata's appeasement politics?
Basirhat fast becoming a reflection of a genie let out of the bottle

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s fulminations against Governor Kesrinath Tripathi for performing his constitutional duty and inquiring about the law and order situation in Basirhat town, has drawn national attention to the pathetic state of the Hindu community under her regime.

Local people claim that the mobs were incited by radical Islamist clerics and that Basirhat, which lays on the border with Bangladesh, has seen massive demographic change on account of illegal migration.

Trouble began on Monday, July 3, when a mob, allegedly outraged over a Facebook post by a school-going teenager, attacked a Kali Mandir in Paikpara village in Basirhat town. Though reputed to be a Hindu majority town (78 percent of the population), the rampaging minority community burnt temples, buildings, looted and burnt shops and private homes of Hindus, set police vehicles on fire, blocked roads and assaulted villagers with impunity. They proved so intimidating that the police had to take shelter in the police station, rather than control the mobs.

The violence soon spread to Baduria town where the impugned teenager lived in village Rudrapur. Most of eastern North 24 Parganas district, close to the Bangladesh border, was quickly embroiled in the violent attacks, which encompassed Baduria, Tentulia, Golabari, Bagjora, Keosa, Basirhat, Mogra, Ramchandrapur, Gopalpur and other places.

Trinamool Congress MPs Idris Ali and Imran Khan (founder of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India, SIMI) reportedly went to Basirhat, to placate the crowds, who refused to listen. Local people claim that the mobs were incited by radical Islamist clerics and that Basirhat, which lays on the border with Bangladesh, has seen massive demographic change on account of illegal migration.

The Chief Minister, however, did not say one word about the riots, the victims, or the perpetrators, but singled out Governor Tripathi and Hindu Samhati leader Tapan Ghosh for criticism. Ghosh is a well-known human rights crusader who has struggled for years on a shoe-string budget (contributed by admirers of modest means) to provide succor to the besieged Hindu community under the oppressive regimes of the CPM-dominated Left Front and now Trinamool Congress.

In the imbroglio, the last rites of a Hindu could not be performed as the funeral procession at Ramchandrapur was reputedly attacked and the chanting of ‘Hari Naam’ forcibly stopped by violent crowds.

By Tuesday, July 4, according to eyewitness accounts, the police and even the Rapid Action Force became helpless before the organized rampage. In some places, the police were targetted, such as at Baduria Police Station, and many police vehicles were gutted. The overtly communal clashes continued at Tertulia bazar, Gopalpur, Mogra and other places. The Jagannath Rath at Basirhat Kalibari Para was desecrated and two accompanying police personnel injured. There was large scale destruction of Hindu property as Hindus tried to resist the attacks in some places.

Internet services to the entire North 24 Parganas district were suspended on Tuesday to curb further incitement of crowds via WhatsApp and other services. Panicked citizens called the Raj Bhavan and Union Home Ministry for help, but the State Government initially refused to deploy the Central Reserve Police Force, until compelled by an unmanageable situation. It was only the deployment of paramilitary forces in substantial numbers that finally brought the situation under control, and caused the rampaging mobs to begin retreating.

Seven persons have died in the violence so far. In the imbroglio, the last rites of a Hindu could not be performed as the funeral procession at Ramchandrapur was reputedly attacked and the chanting of ‘Hari Naam’ forcibly stopped by violent crowds. The hearse carrying the body was damaged and the bereaved family forced to carry the body on their shoulders. Ambulances ferrying patients to hospitals were stopped and the sick persons forced to get down. It was complete anarchy for nearly two days.

Each mobster was fully aware that even the most permissive regime would not permit such a thing, but the demand was a demonstration of muscular politics.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has since spoken to both the West Bengal Governor and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and urged them to bring the situation under control.

It may be mentioned that the authorities were quick to arrest the boy who allegedly posted the offensive message on Facebook (said to be a cartoon disparaging a shrine, which the boy subsequently deleted), but the enraged Islamists demanded that the offender be handed over to them to stone to death as per the Sharia.

Each mobster was fully aware that even the most permissive regime would not permit such a thing, but the demand was a demonstration of muscular politics. According to some reports, the boy’s house was ransacked and torched and his parents, siblings, cousins and relatives assaulted.

It is shocking that in such a situation of complete failure of authority, the Chief Minister considered it politically prudent to launch a verbal attack on the State Governor at a press conference, complaining that she felt so insulted that she thought of even resigning. This kind of attack on a constitutional functionary is truly astonishing.

Worse, given her consistent failure to protect the Hindu community in incident after incident since the time she assumed office, and her blatant and brazen appeasement of one community to protect her vote-bank, it does not lay in her mouth to attack the office of the Governor when he is trying to provide succour to the besieged citizens of the State.

Banerjee’s attack on Governor Tripathi is reminiscent of the all-India secular brigade’s attack on Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan when he tried desperately to protect the small Hindu minority which was attacked, assaulted, and terrorized to quit the state en masse, one of the largest exoduses in history, in a non-war situation. The situation of Bengali Hindus today is no less grim. Perhaps it would have been best if Mamata Banerjee had given in to her hurt feelings and resigned. The nation cannot afford to have her in office much longer.

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Sandhya Jain is a writer of political and contemporary affairs. A post graduate in Political Science from the University of Delhi, she is a student of the myriad facets of Indian civilisation. Her published works include Adi Deo Arya Devata. A Panoramic View of Tribal-Hindu Cultural Interface, Rupa, 2004; and Evangelical Intrusions. Tripura: A Case Study, Rupa, 2009. She has contributed to other publications, including a chapter on Jain Dharma in “Why I am a Believer: Personal Reflections on Nine World Religions,” ed. Arvind Sharma, Penguin India, 2009.
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  1. What is Narendra Modi doing? Preaching GoRakshaks not to take law in their own hand. He has become a weakling trying to appease the Muslims . If Namo and BJP don’t come to the rescue of Hindus in West Bengal and Kerala , he will be defeated in 2019 elections. Because he will lose the vote of loyal hindus and muslims will never vote for him.

  2. The two border states J&K as well as WB do not deserve democracy & hence elected Governments. J&K is an M-majority state & WB is an exponentially increasing M-state under a corrupt, sickular CM. Center should without any hesitation declare President Rule for a decade through special ordinance & start HOUSE CLEANING in both states before they fit enough for a democratically elected Government.

  3. A bold and clear cut article on what Mamata’s Bengal is to day.She cannot rule nor administer even a department let alone a state. The sooner she is dispensed with and the governor’s rule imposed the better it will be for the state. As usual your brilliance is reflected in fairness politeness and reporting only the truth. My fear is wheather a Kashmir minus Pundits like situation will repeat here ?

  4. We have to prepare to livein sharia ruled country by paying zizia and by growing beards .There are no leaders to save Hindus. We have only politicians who sells every thing for power.

    • Brahma ji, that is too despondent.

      Tapan Ghosh has dedicated his life to Bengali Hindus and he and a young team of dedicated sevaks are attending to each and every distress call throughout the state – they reach for every rape, temple destruction, violent incident, and keep full tabs on everything.

      Their volunteers are routinely harassed and arrested and roadblocks put in their way, but they just keep persevering.

      Mamata Banerjee paid them an indirect compliment when she blamed Tapan da personally for the Hindu resistance to the jihadis. She has now imposed a virtual ban on HS meetings.

      The security of Tapan Ghosh and his volunteers has now become a matter of serious concern.

      Make no mistake – this violence was carefully planned and is part of a larger game plan to UNITE Bengal under the Jihadis.

      We must keep our morale high and fight back. Whoever can contribute to the cause should do so as best as possible. Nothing is too small.

  5. We are still awaiting the Governor’s redressal of People’s grievance through the declaration of President’s rule:

    Mamata truly represents the depravity of the Constitution and the insanity of Indian voters. As with other PANGOLIN* British stooges such as Pinarayi, Siddaramaiah, Modi and others. Why single her out for blame? Bengal like India is 5 (Mulla, Mao, Missionary, Marx, Mad Neta-Babu) M Land

    *Note: PANGOLIN: An enemy of India who believes in inequality under law, exceptions to the rule of law and persecution of some for the benefit of others. At present, the sole purpose of the Indian Republic, Constitutional or otherwise, is to pamper and provide for certain constitutionally preferred sections of society who the British found useful to hold and exploit India at the cost of those who the British hated and persecuted. The Pangolin is a creature that is unique to India and feeds on ants that are known in nature to be industrious and hard working if not quite as fruitful as bees who flee to better climes. (PANGOLIN is an acronym for the Periyar-Ambedkar-Nehru-Gandhi-Other (alien) Religions-Communist Consensus that usurped the British Mantle and has worn it with elan to loot, plunder, and rape India since 1921 and re write History and laws to their exclusive benefit since 1947)

  6. Appreciate getting the word out and to pgurus for publishing it. The MSM is so intellectually and morally corrupt that they will try and spin in into something else.

  7. Mamta is adopting a communal politics. Here at North Bengal Nepali Speaking and Bengali speaking crowd are being used to provoke the situation. The otherwise peace loving community is indulging into hate and communal activities that is for sure is TMC backed. it’s time we all realise Mamta’s intention.

    At Darjeeling and Kalimpong police adminstration resort into bullet firing instead of lathi charge. This is how the administration deal with the protesters?

    The police in association with party members are forcefully stopping vehicles Carring goods to Sikkim and other part in the hills and shameful to say media are Silent on such plan activities.

  8. Excellent article, commendable for the courageous write-up. The lone voice (in addition replublic tv) to write about atrocities on Hindus in West Bengal. Demonstrates the urgent need for imposition of president’s/Army rule without which the Hindu population will be wiped out soon given the ascending trend of violence against Hindus coupled with state sponsored boosting of Muslim population through illegal import of Bangladeshis and granting them all benefits while depriving Hindus of basic human rights
    High time that mamata banerjee is removed from her post and punished for creating the current hell for Hindus in bengal while giving unfair advantages to the Muslim votebank

  9. Excellent article. Demonstrates the urgent need for president’s rule or army rule to be imposed without which the Hindu population is poised to be wiped out very soon. Since mamata banerjee and her goons only care for Muslims, mainstream media, intellectuals and other elites too only raise their voice only for Muslims and go deaf dumb and blind when it comes to unrelenting and daily atrocities on Hindus

  10. Although the call of peace is heard, it is not ‘adequate’. Because in her yesterday’s press conference the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal directly acknowledged that her government has been providing a special ‘community’ with a one-sided ‘protection’ for so long. But in reality, their administration have failed to establish the ‘rule’ of the law on that one ‘community’. She shamelessly imposed this failure on social media. Moreover, she has put the blame on the affected Hindus, for bringing their suffering in public! In addition, she apologizes before the ‘community’ that actually did the offense. It is understood that behind her ‘reckless’ image there is actually hidden ‘fear’. Thanks to our Governor for hurting her ego so badly that it made her to openly acknowledge the truth. Her confession sort of signifies administrative surrender. Although she actually did not. The full responsibility to prove that she is not the mere puppet of some barbaric religious instruments is now on her and her administration. May good senses prevail.

  11. Incisive article indeed by Sandhya ji. Bamboo Mamata has lost her marbles. It is time she retires from politics for the good of Bengal and Bharat.

  12. Lucid and thoughtprovoking article by Sandhya Jain.
    The facts and trends clearly point to a Kashmir-like Sharia Jihadi War being declared in what’s left of Bengal by Mullahs under Mamata’s Watch.


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