Mamata for judicial probe into riots; BJP MPs including Meenakshi Lekhi arrested
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Mamata for judicial probe into riots; BJP MPs including Meenakshi Lekhi arrested

A BJP fact-finding team of three MPs was stopped near the Kolkata airport on Saturday from going to Basirhat which has been rocked by communal violence.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 22:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Communal violence,Basirhat,West Bengal
Basirhat subdivision in North 24 Parganas district has been rocked by violence for much of this week after a controversial Facebook post by a school student.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee appealed for calm in Basirhat, Baduria and Darjeeling on Saturday, hours after the police arrested a team of three BJP MPs comprising Meenakshi Lekhi, Om Mathur and Satyapal Singh while they were on the way to Basirhat.

“We will ask for a judicial enquiry into incidents at Baduria, Basirhat,” Banerjee said at a press conference.

Earlier in the morning, police arrested three MPs of a BJP central team - Lekhi, Mathur and Singh while they were driving to Basirhat.

The team was stopped at Michaelnagar near Dum Dum airport, the same spot where the police intercepted a state BJP team on Friday.

Police officers cited prohibitory orders in different parts of Basirhat sub-division to prevent Lekhi’s team from proceeding to the areas scarred by communal clashes this week.

“It’s strange. You are claiming that the situation is under control. Yet you are preventing us from going,” Lekhi was heard telling the police officers.

Separately on Saturday, the BJP took out a protest rally in Kolkata against the violence that has rocked Basirhat.

Read more: Bengal violence: Basirhat’s Muslim leaders tried to pacify the rioting mob, but couldn’t

“We will go to Basirhat and speak to the people. We will find out the situation there and the trouble that the locals are facing,” Lekhi had told the media after she landed in Kolkata.

Bashirhat, Baduria and Swarupnagar in North 24 Parganas district that border Bangladesh have been reeling under violence with mobs setting ablaze shops and buildings and clashing with police after a Facebook post by a school student angered Muslims.

Locals claim that goons from outside the affected areas were involved in the violence.

However, on Saturday morning, the situation in Basirhat was peaceful with no incidents of violence reported since Friday.

On Friday the state government did not allow teams of CPI(M) and Congress to travel to Basirhat. A day earlier chief minister Mamata Banerjee had urged opposition leaders not to visit the area till normalcy returned.

First Published: Jul 08, 2017 14:08 IST