Fresh Violence Erupts In West Bengal's Asansol Even After Restrictions On Processions
Despite about five policemen getting injured in Ranigunj and violence in Murshidabad due to clashes between BJP and TMC supporters in different parts of West Bengal, another rally was taken out in Asansol today.
The rally, which had begun calmly, broke down soon. Sources said the clash broke out over the Vishwa Hindu Parishad march that reached Railpar around 6 pm. Arson and looting followed and a police patrol team reached the spot to restore normality. Butlaw enforcers had to flee, leaving their vehicle behind after vandals gave them a chase.
As clashes spread to adjacent areas, the police went on back foot as they were outnumbered. They couldn’t arrange reinforcements as a large contingent of the force was busy maintaining law and order in the neighboring Raniganj town, where the administration had imposed Section 144 of CrPC to prevent the repeat of Monday’s violence.
Police sources, however, said some parts of the Raniganj town – like Kumarbazaar and Hillbasti – witnessed trouble later in the evening. “A large police contingent led by the commissioner of police, Asansol-Durgapur, L.N. Meena, rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. Forces from neighboring districts were also brought in,” said a senior police officer, as reported by The Telegraph. Asansol mayor Jitendra Tiwari went to the spot but could not enter the area because of the tense situation. His car was stoned.
The local administration has declared Section 144 from the morning of 28 March to avoid any further escalation and a large police contingent led by the commissioner of police, Asansol-Durgapur, L.N. Meena, rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area.
“We have told the victims that the administration will stand by those whose houses and shops were vandalized,” stated Tiwari in the aftermath of the violence. At least 300 policemen were deployed all over the town and the police had carried out route marches in sensitive areas earlier today.
Union Minister from Asansol, BJP MP, Babul Supriyo, said that the violence escalated due to police inaction.
The central government on Wednesday asked the state government to submit a report on incidents of arson and violence in the last two days. Centre has also offered assistance to paramilitary forces in this regard.
Earlier, massive clashes had broken out on Monday in Asansol’s Raniganj during Ram Navami celebrations. Deputy Commissioner of Police had reportedly sustained injuries in his forearm as miscreants hurled bombs at him and other police officials. Three people died and several others were injured in the clashes.