We can’t live here anymore’: Terrified Dhulagarh riot victims who suffered mob violence claim Mamata Banerjee government is trying to cover it up

  • Government claims no fresh violence has taken place after December 14
  • Mamata Banerjee is dismissive of communal violence
  • Those who suffered mod violence are wary to returning home

More than two weeks have passed since communal violence broke out in Dhulagarh, a small town on the outskirts of Kolkata in Howrah district, and yet a sense of fear is palpable on the ground.

Many remain homeless as those who suffered mob violence are wary of returning home, barely 20 km from the state secretariat Nabanna.

Last week, the state government had removed Howrah (Rural) SP Sabyasachi Raman Mishra for failing to contain the violence.

‘So far, 58 people have been arrested. There has been no fresh violence after December 14,’ said Sumit Kumar, who replaced Mishra.

However, when Mail Today questioned chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the situation in Dhulagarh, she snapped: ‘Nothing has happened. You should be ashamed for this.’

Yet, her government continues to impose prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC, banning the entry of Opposition parties and the media into the troubled area.

Charred remains of the households in Dhulagarh

On Thursday, the state police described the violence as an ‘outcome of a dispute arising out of a local issue’.

It said situation was under total control and normal.

This week, when Mail Today travelled to Dhulagarh to assess the ground situation, it found that many had fled the area leaving behind charred remains of their houses.

‘We can’t live here anymore. We have taken shelter in our relatives’ place elsewhere,’ said Rampada Manna, as his wife Seema struggled to gather whatever belonging was left after the riots.

Riots erupted after Milad-ul-Nadi yatra

‘Police came that day, but when we were attacked, even the cops fled,’ he adds.

Manna, who works as a barber in a local saloon, was at home when a violent mob broke open the gate and vandalised his house.

‘We are very poor. We somehow managed to buy a laptop for our son but they took it away. They also stole Rs 65,000 we had kept for LIC,’ wept Seema, the horror of that day entrenched on her face.

Adjacent to the Manna household on Banerjee para lives the Mondals. Maitri Mondal, a mother of two, says she heard chants of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ as the mob entered her bedroom and set it ablaze.

Mamata Banerjee is dismissive about the incident

‘My son will appear for his Board exams in February, but they have destroyed everything. All his books are gutted and my son is in trauma now,’ she says, pointing at the charred pages on her son’s study desk.

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 35,000 for the victims, but most say that is simply not enough.

‘The hooligans destroyed my house; everything has been burnt. I can’t fix them with this money,’ laments Namita Sanpui, who lives in the same locality.

No one knows what exactly triggered the riots that erupted soon after Milad-Un-Nabi celebrations in the town.

Dilip Khanra was among many who had locked themselves inside a room when the mob was nearing the village, pelting crude bombs.

source:dailymail on facebook , 30th Dec.2016

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