Mamata Banerjee warns of strict action after reports of lockdown-linked communal violence

SERAMPORE/BARUIPUR/MALDA:Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday reacted sharply to reports of communal violence over Covid-19 in pockets of West Bengal and said “strong action” will be taken under the Disaster Management Act against both perpetrators and provocateurs of violence.

Violence related to flouting of lockdown protocols was reported from Telenipara in Hooghly district, Harishchandrapur in Malda district and Subhashgram in South 24 Parganas district in which 55 people were arrested till reports last came in. At least five police personnel were injured in the clashes in Telenipara and Baruipur, PTI reported. Seven locals also suffered injuries, officials said, adding that police vehicles were damaged and shops were ransacked.

Banerjee said she has asked police to take strict action against those who violate the lockdown. “I have asked police to act strongly against anyone found violating lockdown norms and indulging in violence. Provocateurs will also be booked,” the CM said. “I leave it to people to decide on those politicians whose statements on Twitter, Facebook or ‘Fakebook’ are instigating these incidents. Is there Hindu-Muslim in Covid?” she added.

The CM’s statements came against the backdrop of Hooghly BJP MP Locket Chatterjee meeting West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the party’s Malda North MP Khagen Murmu alleging he was stopped from entering violence-hit zones. Police said CrPc Section 144 had been imposed in places where the MPs tried to enter when stopped. Dhankhar later tweeted: “Concerned at incidents at Telenipara in Hooghly and at Chandipur in Malda — appeal people to observe utmost restraint and maintain communal harmony. Police and administration to be extremely watchful to contain situation.”

Source: Times of India

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