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Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal

West Bengal waiting to explode

By Sandhya Jain on September 24, 2013


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Tags: West Bengal, communalism, muslim appeasement, Minority Appeasement, Mamata Banerjee, indian secularism

West Bengal waiting to explode

West Bengal is sitting on a communal tinderbox with the Chief Minister under pressure from the minority community to run the State as per its wishes or face rout at the hustings, and incidents of confrontation between the two major communities rising steeply. Mamata Banerjee’s overt proximity with the minority community has made the police wary of taking action where required, even as a disproportionate number of cases are filed against members of the majority community, even when they are the aggrieved party.

At the Eid namaz at Red Road on August 9, Maulana Qari Fazlur Rehman berated the Chief Minister for the rise of Hindu consolidation in villages and demanded she put an end to it. Mamata Banerjee, who was present on the occasion for the second consecutive year, was unpleasantly surprised when the Maulana accused her Government of failing to meet its promises to the minorities.

The tradition of attending the Eid namaz despite not being a member of the community was begun by Mamata Banerjee, and was not practiced by the communists under the Left regimes.

Mamata Banerjee showed exemplary toughness in combating the Maoist menace in the State, as exemplified by the killing of Kishenji, even though Maoists had supported her party in the run up to the elections two years ago. She refused to yield an inch on the issue of a separate Gorkhaland. But she seems increasingly at sea on the issue of Islamic assertiveness. Currently, her sole plan appears to be appeasement.

According to informed sources, Maulana Rehman was angry that the Hindu Samhati, a relatively new organisation trying to defend the Hindu community when temples were attacked or women and girls molested or abducted, had established 1600 branches across the State. He explicitly asked the bemused Chief Minister to do ‘something’ about it.

He further demanded that she implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee report, and called her a ‘liar’ for claiming to have fulfilled 90 per cent of the promises made to the community.

Maulana Rehman told the Chief Minister before the mammoth gathering that Trinamool Congress won the recent panchayat elections on the backs of Muslims and demanded reciprocal benefits on the form of housing, schools and colleges in poor and backward Muslim areas. The beleaguered Chief Minister immediately announced reservations for Muslims in higher education, from 2014, and promised further business avenues such as shops and small-scale enterprises. Trinamool MP Sultan Ahmed, also present at the Red Road prayers, tried to placate the Maulana by claiming that the State Government had recruited 11 per cent to 15 per cent Muslims in the police, home guards and civil defence wings.

Previously, in 2012, the Eid namaz at Red Road was led by Imam Mohd Nur ur Rahman Barkati of the Tipu Sultan Mosque. He told the Chief Minister that Muslims had dislodged the CPM regime and would not hesitate to do the same with the Trinamool Congress if their wishes were not satisfied.

The lists of Muslim demands includes: bring all Muslims under the OBC category (80 per cent are already included); reservations in employment and education (the latter has now been met); 25 per cent reservation in accommodation in new cities like Rajarhat; 5000 new flats for Muslims to be built by the Kolkata Corporation. The growing stridency of Muslim leaders is beginning to cause unease among the regime as some assess the cumulative impact of growing violence across the State.

It may be recalled that in February this year, sub-inspector Tapas Chowdhury was murdered during student violence in front of Hari Mohan Ghose College in Kolkata’s Garden Reach area. Trinamool Congress member Sheikh Subhan, who was caught on camera firing at the policeman, was arrested in the case, following which the State Government transferred Police Commissioner RK Pachnanda, a move criticised by Governor MK Narayanan and opposition parties. Trinamool Congress councillor Mohammad Iqbal alias Munna, who was with Subhan (his aide) during the shooting, was also arrested in connection with the murder. He has recently been released on bail.

The same month, there was a serious outbreak of communal violence in South 24 Parganas district after Rohul Kuddus, a local maulvi, was shot dead late at night while returning from a function; his aide, Abdul Wahab, was injured. Within hours of the murder, truckloads of persons from various parts of Kolkata descended on the area and torched and looted over 200 Hindu homes in the villages of Naliakhali, Herobhanga, Gopalpur and Goladogra, in Canning and Joynagar police station areas.

The violence was clearly organised and soon spread to parts of North 24 Parganas. Police officers Anup Samaddar and Anup Ghosh of Canning police station were seriously injured and two police vehicles torched in the melee.

Observers had then surmised that the violence was a run-up to the Panchayat elections in Bengal, as the maulvi was reportedly carrying over Rs 11 lakhs on his person when murdered; the money was never recovered. This view was validated by Maulana Rehman when he stated in his namaz speech at Red Road that 70 per cent of the persons who died in poll-related violence during the Panchayat elections were Muslims. The Maulana demanded that the community should get commensurate benefits.

Residents in the remote villages and districts of the State profess growing anxiety on account of increasing incidents of iconoclasm all across the region. Sunil of Asansol told this writer that incidents of attack or encroachments on temple land occur almost daily.

The presence of the Chief Minister at functions like the Eid namaz, her readiness to fulfill their demands, and her peremptory transfer of the last Police Commissioner, have made the police wary. In a dispute at the Taltala Masjid in Kolkata on August 4 this year, as many as 17 policemen were injured seriously, though the incident was blacked out in the media.

There is a pronounced bias in cases where Hindus are the aggrieved community, and their youth are arrested and harassed. This was particularly so prior to the Panchayat elections. The politics of appeasement is taking a heavy toll on the people of the State

Messages In This Thread
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by Guest - 07-11-2009, 08:15 AM
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by Husky - 07-12-2009, 05:47 PM
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by Husky - 09-24-2009, 09:43 PM
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by Husky - 09-05-2011, 07:12 PM
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by Husky - 09-05-2011, 07:15 PM
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by G.Subramaniam - 09-24-2013, 10:13 AM
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by Husky - 01-20-2014, 06:22 PM
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by Husky - 06-09-2014, 09:55 PM
Islamic Jihadism In West Bengal - by ravish - 10-22-2014, 12:33 PM

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