BJP’s ‘fact-finding’ team not allowed to visit Malda’s violence torn area


BJP MPs on Monday complained they were stopped by district authorities from visiting Kaliachak in Malda which was hit by violence in December.

A ‘fact-finding’ team comprising MPs Bhupendra Yadav, Ram Vilas Vedanti and SS Ahluwalia, arrived in Malda on Monday but were asked by the police and district administration officials to turn back as prohibitory orders had been promulgated in Kaliachak.

“This act of West Bengal government is condemnable,” Yadav said as the MPs were forced to return by Howrah-bound Shatabdi Express.

The MPs stayed in the VIP lounge of the station for nearly three hours where they discussed the issue with senior district officials.

“The purpose of the visit was to console the people, to restore their confidence that something like this will not happen in future. Due to pressure from the state government, the district administration said that we cannot go there as Section 144 CrPC has been imposed.

“We are not here to incite or instigate anyone. We are law-abiding citizens and senior MPs but the officials said that that we are public figures and our appearance will create problems….the normalcy they have achieved will break down,” Ahluwalia was quoted by PTI.

The three leaders said they were here to understand the chain of events in Kaliachak that led to the violence.

However, the area has been made out of bounds for BJP leaders since the incident. On January 6, another BJP delegation led by Shamik Bhattacharya, its lone MLA in West Bengal Assembly, was not allowed to visit Kaliachak village, about 30 km from here.

Violence had broken out at Kaliachak in December in protest against the statement made by Hindu Mahasabha leader calling Prophet Muhammad ‘homosexual.’

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said there was no communal tension in the area and described the incident as a fallout of an issue between BSF and the local people.

Several policemen have been transferred from Kaliachak police station following the incident.

Accusing the TMC government of shielding those behind the Kaliachak violence, BJP had alleged that the prime suspects have not been arrested.

The CPI(M) too has attacked the state government saying, “Kaliachak incident has shown that it has completely failed to control communal incidents and overtones”.