Mamata Banerjee suspends internet services, shops and schools shut after Bengal violence over FB post | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Mamata Banerjee suspends internet services, shops and schools shut after Bengal violence over FB post

Clashes broke out between two communities in West Bengal’s Baduria district over an alleged blasphemous Facebook post. The violence has snowballed into a political storm after Mamata Banerjee claimed the governor humiliated her.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2017 18:03 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during a press conference at the State Secretariat in Kolkata on Tuesday.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during a press conference at the State Secretariat in Kolkata on Tuesday. (PTI)

The government banned internet services in West Bengal’s Basirhat region as shops and schools remained shut and paramilitary forces patrolled the streets on Wednesday where communal clashes had erupted over an “objectionable” Facebook post.

Local train services were affected in the Sealdah-Bangaon section as people squatted on the tracks at Duttapukur and Ashokenagar stations and shouted slogans. A pair of trains plied from Basirhat station in the morning, hours after which services were disrupted due to demonstration there, GRP sources said.

Residents said the Basirhat subdivision --which includes violence-hit Baduria and Swarupnagar -- was almost cut off from the rest of the district. The region is less than 20 kilometres from the Bangladesh border.

Violence had erupted between two communities at Baduria on Monday night over an alleged blasphemous Facebook post, following which a student was arrested. Muslim mobs allegedly set shops and houses on fire and burnt police vehicles to protest against the post.

One of the vehicles that were torched during the violence in Baduria. (ANI Twitter)
A mob allegedly set shops and houses on fire and burnt police vehicles to protest against the post. (ANI Twitter)

Prohibitory orders were clamped but vandalism continued through Monday and Tuesday as the administration did not inform people about the arrest.

Most of the shops, markets were shut in and around Baduria, including Keosha market, Banshtala, Ramchandrapur and Tentulia. Schools too remained off limits as security personnel are using the buildings, the police said.

The flare-up has snowballed into a major political storm between the chief minister and the governor with Mamata Banerjee accusing Keshari Nath Tripathi of acting like a BJP block president. Opposition parties have accused the government of losing its grip on law and order.

Paramilitary forces staged a flag march on Tuesday night at some of the affected areas. Forces and personnel from Kolkata Police were dispatched on Wednesday evening.

Watch | Communal violence in West Bengal: Is Mamata Banerjee losing grip?