Tue. Jun 28th, 2022
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KOLKATA/TAMLUK: A mob attacked a local train at Bethuadahari railway station in West Bengal’s Nadia district on Sunday evening to protest against the controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad, while the situation in Howrah and Murshidabad districts that witnessed violence in the past two days remained more or less peaceful.
Another group vandalised Dhubulia railway station in Nadia to protest against the comments of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on the Prophet, a senior police officer said.
Some employees of the station and passengers of the Krishnagar-Lalgola local train were injured, an official of the Eastern Railway said.
In Purba Medinipur district, police prevented the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in state Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, from visiting violence-hit areas of Howrah “as a precautionary measure” as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped in many areas in the district.
Police claimed that his visit may cause law and order problems there.
Adhikari said he would move the court on Monday against this.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also sought an update from Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi over Adhikari not being allowed to visit Howrah.
A police officer said over 1,000 demonstrators in Bethuadahari threw stones, damaged houses and tried to put up blockades on roads there.
When chased by the police, a section of them went inside the Bethuadahari railway station and attacked the train which was on a platform there.
Train services in that line were disrupted for around two hours due to the incident.
Ten people have been detained in connection with the incident which happened at around 6.05 pm, the officer told PTI.
He said, “We are looking for the miscreants who carried out the attack. Huge teams of GRP and RPF have also arrived here. The situation is under control now.”
The Eastern Railway official said the train was badly damaged in the attack.
Howrah City Police Commissioner Praveen Tripathi and Howrah (Rural) SP Swati Bhangalia took stock of the situation.
Except for a roadblock by protestors in Barewa in Howrah, no untoward incident was reported in the two areas.
“The area is peaceful. We have police presence all over the place and patrolling is being done. I will appeal to the people to maintain peace and law and order. We are alert. We have lodged FIRs in every matter which has happened, conducted raids and arrested people. We have senior officers posted there,” Tripathi said.
Police have so far arrested over 100 people from these places in connection with their alleged links to the riots witnessed in the state since Friday, a police officer said.
Meanwhile, after a high drama that lasted around two hours at Tamluk after the police stopped Adhikari, he was allowed to proceed on the condition that he would go straight to Kolkata, without making any pit stop in violence-hit areas in adjoining Howrah district.
Adhikari was moving with his security entourage when he was stopped by a huge police team at Radharani More in Tamluk. He was not accompanied by any other BJP leader.
The BJP leader remained seated inside the vehicle, claiming he had no intention of visiting Howrah. He was also reluctant to return to his hometown Kanthi in Purba Medinipur district from where he had started.
He engaged in heated arguments with police officers present at the spot, stating that he wanted to have lunch and take rest at a guest house in Kolaghat in Purba Medinipur district, before proceeding to Kolkata.
“I have been unlawfully obstructed by @WBPolice on NH 116 at Radhamoni under Tamluk PS. @MedinipurSp is there a Curfew in place in Purba Medinipur District or Section 144 has been imposed? I am moving towards Kolaghat for having lunch. How is it prohibited?” Adhikari said in a series of tweets from the spot.
After he was allowed to proceed, Adhikari straightaway went to the site of party colleague and state BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar’s sit-in demonstration against the alleged failure of the Mamata Banerjee government in containing violent incidents in Howrah.
Majumdar was arrested on Saturday afternoon when he was heading toward Howrah district. He was later released.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also sought an update from Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi over the “curtailment” of Adhikari’s rights.
“Chief Secretary @chief_west has been called to effect immediate response to the communication sent by Hon’ble Leader of Opposition. This in context of earlier curtailment of his rights is inappropriate. Why have undeclared emergency!” the governor tweeted, sharing an image of a letter earlier written by Adhikari to Dwivedi urging the administration not to prevent him from visiting damaged BJP party offices.
BJP leaders, including Majumdar, flayed the alleged attempt of the TMC-run government to stop opposition leaders from meeting people, hit by the recent violence.
“After putting BJP WB president Sukanta Majumdar under detention, Mamata Banerjee is now ensuring that LoP Suvendu Adhikari is not able to visit Howrah, where the party offices have been gutted. Her entire focus is on the opposition, not on rampaging ‘Dudhel Gais’ (milch cows), as she calls them,” BJP’s West Bengal co-in charge Amit Malviya tweeted.
Reacting to the development, senior TMC leader Kunal Ghosh alleged that Adhikari wanted to visit Howrah with the intention of fanning trouble.
Protests erupted in several parts of Howrah district on Friday over controversial remarks by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled leader Naveen Jindal on Prophet Mohammad.
Agitators resorted to stone-pelting, setting police vehicles on fire and damaging public property during violent protests and clashes with the law enforcers in the district. Fresh violent protests were reported in Panchla on Saturday.
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped in several areas of Howrah.

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