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The 2010 Deganga riots began on 6th September when an Islamist mob resorted to arson and violence on the Hindu localities of Deganga, Kartikpur and Beliaghata under the Deganga police station area. The violence began late in the evening and continued throughout the night into the next morning. The district police, Rapid Action Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force all failed to stop the mob violence, army was finally deployed.[1][2][3][4] The army staged a flag march on the Taki Road, while Islamist violence continued unabated in the interior villages off the Taki Road, till Wednesday in spite of army presence and promulgation of prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC. The violence finally calmed down on 9th September after hundreds of Hindu business establishments and residences were looted, destroyed and burnt, dozens of Hindus were severely injured and several Hindu temples desecrated and vandalized.

Background

Deganga is a CD block in the border district of North 24 Parganas. According to the 2001 census, the percentage of Muslim population in the block is 69.51%. It is one of the eight Muslim majority blocks of the 29 blocks in the district. Deganga falls within the Basirhat parliamentary constituency. Basirhat, a traditional left bastion, fell to Haji Nurul Islam of Trinamul Congress in 2009. During the election campaign, he had promised the Muslims to expand the disputed graveyard near the Deganga police station and install the mike at the Deganga mosque, in defiance of a High Court order.[5] After he won, massive Bangladeshi infiltration took place in the region with his active support.[6]

Riots

File:Chattalpalli Durga mandap at Deganga.jpg

The permanent Durga mandap at Chattalpalli and the makeshift pandal in front. The passage to the area was being dug up by Muslims to prevent the Hindus from entering the area.

On the morning of 6th September, some local Muslims of Chattalpalli began to dig the passage leading to the Durga pandal, claiming the spot to belong to the graveyard that lay behind the Durga mandap. The ownership of the graveyard itself is disputed and it can be traced back to Rani Rashmoni. The annual Durga Puja celebrations were being held there for the last 40 years,[7] and nobody had objected to it before. When the Hindus objected to the digging they were attacked. When the police were informed, they tried to stop the miscreants, but were outnumbered and beaten up. Officer-in-Charge Arup Ghosh suffered head injuries and fracture in the arm. The miscreants threatened to teach the Hindus a lesson after the evening iftar.

In the evening at around 8-30PM[1], a 2,000 strong Islamist mob descended upon the market areas of Deganga, Kartikpur and Beliaghata and resorted to large scale arson and violence. Hindu shops were systematically looted, burnt and destroyed. Nearby Hindu residences were set ablaze.

On Tuesday morning, violence began to escalate after a group of Muslims led by Haji Nurul Islam threatened the police at the Deganga police station.[8] The armed mobs were being led my local toughs like Maqbur Rahman and Mintu Sahji.[6][9] In the meanwhile, Later on the day the police clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC.[1] They opened fire and started throwing bombs. One Muslim youth of Falti village was accidentally shot in the Beliaghata bridge, who later succumbed to the injuries.

In the meanwhile, DSP (Traffic) Ashok Ray and another unidentified DSP arrived with a huge contingent of police and Rapid Action Force to quell the riots. Both the DSPs were severely beaten up by the lynch mob. Ashok Ray was rescued by the RAF and shifted to a nursing home. At 11 AM, DIG (Presidency Range) Siddhinath Gupta, North 24 Parganas DSP Rahul Srivastava and DM Vinod Kumar convened an emergency meeting and sent a even bigger force consisting of the ICs and OCs of 15 police stations of the district accompanied by RAF. Even they failed to stop the rioters. At 1-30 PM, SDPO (Barasat) Mehmood Akhtar promulgated section 144 of CrPC. When the situation couldn't controlled by all of the district police, Rapid Action Force and Border Security Force, the state government deputed the army. In the evening, two columns of the army entered Deganga. When the army finally arrived, the tormented Hindu villagers seeing a ray of hope, came out of their homes, crying.[10] The army however conducted only a flag march along the Taki Road.[11]

The Deganga riot was filed as a Human Rights Violation on Hindus in an investigative report[12] by the noted human rights campaigning movement group Bangladesh Minority Watch[13].

Hindu temples desecrated

The Islamist mob desecrated and vandalized Hindu temples, a characteristic feature of Islamism. The Kali temple at Deganga Biplabi Colony was desecrated and vandalized by an Islamist mob that came in trucks from Beliaghata, Sashan and Basirhat.[9][14] Trinamul Congress MP Haji Nurul Islam personally supervised the desecration of the Kali temple.[15][14] When the Hindus of the locality protested they were chased by the mob, armed with swords and daggers and hurled bombs at them.[9] Among others they also desecrated and burnt the Kakra Mirza Nagar Kali temple.[14] The Shani temple of Kartikpur were vandalized by the Islamist mobs. They also hoisted a loudspeaker at the mosque near Deganga market, violating the High Court order that prohibited the use of the loudspeaker.

Hindus attacked in Salimpukur

On Wednesday morning a Muslim mob from Ramnathpur and Khejurdanga attacked the Hindus in the Salimpukur and Hospital area, off the Taki Road. 23 houses were ransacked in Salimpukur and the victims took shelter in nearby Kartikpur.[16] Arup Ghosh, Officer-in-Charge of Deganga police station led a police team against the rioters and were greeted with brickbats. He was severely injured in the head and was immediately rushed to the hospital.[16]

Aftermath

Sporadic incidents continued as late as on Thursday, despite army presence. The situation calmed down on Friday though tension prevails in the entire area. Hindus, especially women who had fled the homes in fear of dishonor have still not returned to their homes.

On Thursday, a delegation of BJP leaders led by Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra, Lok Sabha MP Uday Singh, West Bengal state BJP president Rahul Sinha, ex-president Tathagata Roy and others visited the riot torn areas.[5] On Friday, the 10th of September, the BJP demanded the arrest of Trinamul Congress MP Haji Nurul Islam, the main culprit behind the riot, for instigating the mob into a communal frenzy.[11]

The army returned to their barracks on Saturday, the day of the Eid.[17]

At least 32 Durga Puja committees from the Deganga block have resolved to boycott the Durga Puja celebrations.[18] According to Deganga Puja Samanvay Committee, a total of 42 puja committees have boycotted Durga Puja in Deganga.[19]


Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Communal clash near Bangla border, Army deployed". Kolkata: The Times of India. September 8, 2010. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Communal-clash-near-Bangla-border-Army-deployed/articleshow/6516123.cms. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  2. "Army out after Deganga rioting". Kolkata: The Times of India. September 8, 2010. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Army-out-after-Deganga-rioting/articleshow/6516493.cms. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  3. "Curfew in Bengal district, Army called in". Kolkata: Indian Express. September 8, 2010. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Curfew-in-Bengal-district--Army-called-in/678774. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  4. Bose, Raktima (September 8, 2010). "Youth killed in group clash". The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/08/stories/2010090859680100.htm. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mitra, Chandan (September 12, 2010). "Anatomy of a riot foretold". New Delhi: The Pioneer. http://www.dailypioneer.com/282399/Anatomy-of-a-riot-foretold.html. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sengupta, Saugar (September 9, 2010). "People flee area after communal clashes in Bengal". New Delhi: The Pioneer. http://www.dailypioneer.com/281865/People-flee-area-after-communal-clashes-in-Bengal.html. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  7. "BJP Demands Action Against Trinamool Workers". New Delhi: Outlook. September 10, 2010. http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?693069. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  8. "পুড়ল বাড়ি, আক্রান্ত পুলিশ, দেগঙ্গায় হত এক". Kolkata: Anandabazar Patrika. September 8, 2010. http://www.anandabazar.com/archive/1100908/8pgn1.htm. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "24 hurt in Bengal clashes, RAF called out". New Delhi: The Pioneer. September 8, 2010. http://www.dailypioneer.com/281645/24-hurt-in-Bengal-clashes-RAF-called-out.html. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  10. "দেগঙ্গায় নামল সেনা, সংঘর্ষে মৃত এক". Kolkata: Bartaman Patrika. September 8, 2010. http://bartamanpatrika.com/archive/2010/september/080910/content/kolkata.htm. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "BJP demands arrest of Haji Nurul". New Delhi: The Pioneer. September 10, 2010. http://www.dailypioneer.com/282380/BJP-demands-arrest-of-Haji-Nurul.html. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  12. "Human Rights Violations on Hindu refugees in West Bengal, India". Bangladesh Minority Watch. http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1417. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
  13. http://www.bdmw.org/
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Sengupta, Saugar (September 10, 2010). "Bengal riot victims live in fear, anxiety". New Delhi: The Pioneer. http://www.dailypioneer.com/282172/Bengal-riot-victims-live-in-fear-anxiety.html. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  15. Bandyopadhyay, Sabyasachi (September 14, 2010). "Riot-scarred Deganga says Trinamool MP ‘main villain’". Kolkata: Indian Express. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Riot-scarred-Deganga-says-Trinamool-MP--main-villain-/681249. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Peace eludes troubled Deganga". Kolkata: The Times of India. September 9, 2010. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Peace-eludes-troubled-Deganga-/articleshow/6521725.cms. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  17. "The Trinamool problem". Kolkata: Indian Express. September 13, 2010. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kolkata-confidential/680911. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  18. Mitra, Ashim Kumar (October 17, 2010). "32 Durga Puja Committees suspend Puja in Deganga to protest riots". New Delhi: Organiser. http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=366&page=14. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  19. "WB town boycotts Durga Puja". newKerala.com. October 14, 2010. http://www.newkerala.com/news/world/fullnews-62678.html. Retrieved October 15, 2010.

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