West Bengal violence over FB post: Shops, schools shut in Basirhat, Mamata govt warns rioteers | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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West Bengal violence over FB post: Shops, schools shut in Basirhat, Mamata govt warns rioteers

No violence reported today but tensions continue to run high in West Bengal’s Basirhat region

kolkata Updated: Jul 06, 2017 12:17 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Tension prevailed across Basirhat subdivision in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Thursday.
Tension prevailed across Basirhat subdivision in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Thursday.(Samir Jana/HT photo)

Shops and schools remained closed on Thursday in West Bengal’s Basirhat region but no further violence was reported a day after 23 people were wounded in continuing communal clashes over a Facebook post.

An internet ban clamped to stop rumours continued for the second day and prohibitory orders banned the assembly of more than four people in one place.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee personally oversaw the security arrangement but local residents said tensions continued to run high after days of violence by Muslim mobs.

The government has warned the rioters of stern action after three days of violence left scores of people wounded. Mobs torched shops, houses and police vehicles in the communally sensitive area in North 24 Parganas district, about 65km from Kolkata and just a few kilometers from the Bangladesh border.

On Wednesday, violence took place mostly in areas under Basirhat police station and parts of Taki and Swarupnagar, all of which border Bangladesh. Locals in the affected areas alleged that most of the faces in the marauding crowds were unknown to the locals.

Paramilitary troopers and state policemen have taken position in village and town squares and roads. Barring the security forces, the streets were almost deserted, shops shut and schools closed.

But the violence is spreading and engulfing new areas with Hindu and Muslims groups reportedly moving around with sharp weapons out of the administration’s sight.

The unabated flare-up escalated a war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress and Raj Bhavan after Banerjee accused the governor of threatening and insulting her when he called to enquire about the Basirhat situation.

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