A mob attack on a police station in Kaliachak, Malda district of West Bengal, has led district officials to suspect fake money racketeers and poppy cultivators of instigating A mob attack on a police station in Kaliachak, Malda district of West Bengal, has led district officials to suspect fake money racketeers and poppy cultivators of instigating locals against the police for their action against the illegal trade.locals against the police for their action against the illegal trade.
On Sunday morning, scores of people stormed the Kaliachak police station, setting fire to several police vehicles and the station after ransacking it. The police, who could barely muster a counter in the face of the mob’s fury, watched as documents were burnt away and the building damaged.
A leaflet distributed locally by the agitators said they wanted to protest a remark made in Lucknow on December 1 last year. The remark had snowballed in the communally-sensitive area.
Speaking to Hindustan Times a day after the incident, district police sources said the mob was egged on by racketeers in retaliation to police action.
“It is designed to keep police under pressure so that in future they think twice before taking steps against the people involved in fake money circulation and those involved in poppy cultivation,” said a district police officer.
A senior officer of Malda district police cited similarities in another attack on the police station from three months ago, saying the two were probably orchestrated by the same people.
However, Malda superintendent of police, Prasun Bandapadhyay, declined to comment on the issue.
Malda district accounts for about 90% of the fake money that finds its way into the country across the Indo-Bangladesh border. Kaliachak, which falls near the Indo-Bangladesh border, is regarded as the cradle that nurses the business, and despite several operations, police are yet to find a formidable way to tackle the problem.
Policemen claim that operatives from Bangladesh incentivise farmers in Kaliachak to cultivate poppy in their land, luring farmers with the promise of plenty of money earned from the illegal trade.
During preliminary investigation, police discovered that the business in Kaliachak is spearheaded by three people. While one of them assembled the mob on Sunday, two others were involved in the attack on the police station.