At a time when the focus should be of saving one’s life from the menace of COVID-19, Hindus in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal are fending for themselves, as they are faced with the brutal force of bloodthirsty mobs and a co-opted establishment. Since Sunday, alleged anti-Hindu mobs in Hooghly district of Bengal have been on a rampage, specifically in Bhadreshwar’s Telinipara, where Hindu shops and establishments are allegedly being set on fire.
Since we are speaking of West Bengal, reports also suggest that there has been an extensive use of bombs (presumably crude) against Hindus. The riots were triggered, according to BJP’s MP from Hooghly, Locket Chatterjee, after Muslims who returned from Rajasthan’s Ajmer recently, began testing positive for COVID-19.
पश्चिम बंगाल के हुगली के टेलनिपारा में हिंदुओं पर हमले शुरू हो गए। हिंसा लगातार बढ़ रही है, पर ममता सरकार और प्रशासन आंख मूंदकर बैठा है। हुगली की सांसद सुश्री @me_locket का पुलिस कमिश्नर फोन तक नहीं उठा रहे।
ये हमले पूरी तरह राजनीति से प्रेरित हैं। pic.twitter.com/CZo3aVlzpm
— Kailash Vijayvargiya (@KailashOnline) May 12, 2020
According to a reports, Muslims from neighbouring Urdibazaar were indiscriminately flouting the lockdown guidelines, thereby putting the lives of everyone in the area under severe threat. Locket Chatterjee said that Hindus of the area, alarmed over the prospect of getting infected by the deadly virus, erected barricades to stop outsiders from entering their areas. Hindus of some areas in neighbouring Chandannagar, also did the same, reported Swarajya.
However, Chatterjee alleged that the Muslims brazenly broke the barricades and made it their lives’ mission to enter Hindu-majority areas, presumably with the intention of infecting them with the virus. This is what triggered the Muslim mobs to go around, baying for the blood of Hindus. Eversince, Telinipara has become ground zero for attacks against Hindus in West Bengal.
The police is said to have arrived only after the mobs had conducted all their business and fled. On Sunday, Hindu establishments and houses, including jewellery shops, were vandalized, torched and looted.
However, in obvious contestation, a senior police officer said that the police had arrived at the riot-stricken areas and lathicharged the mobs, and made use of tear gas shells, along with firing rubber bullets.
“Some people were addressed as ‘corona’. And it all started from there…After a verbal spat, one group (Hindus) blocked another (Muslims) from entering a community bathroom in the Victoria Jute Mills area of Telinipara, which led to the fight,” Chandnagar Police Commissioner, Humayun Kabir told PTI, putting all the blame squarely on the Hindus.
On Tuesday, Telinipara was quite literally up in flames, as widespread anti-Hindu violence shook the area once again, despite Humayun Kabir vouching for a strong police presence on the ground. Again, Hindu shops, houses and other establishments are said to have been set on fire and bombed by the raging mobs. Thick plumes of smoke were seen rising into the sky, a direct indicator of the shocking administrative apathy towards Hindus, not to mention their indifference to the militant-like behaviour of Muslim mobs. Police said that gas cylinders were used as explosive devices on Tuesday.
Just one video of what is gong on in Telinipara at this moment. Accusations against police for wilfully allowing local gangs to carry out violence and looting. The @MamataOfficial administration is predictably silent pic.twitter.com/sVyeiP9ePk
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) May 12, 2020
I tried to call CP of Chandannagar police Dr. Humayun Kabir many times, but he didn’t answer my call. State administration is mute spectator and Telenipara is burning. #SaveBengal pic.twitter.com/rZo9ahTove
— Locket Chatterjee (@me_locket) May 12, 2020
Mayhem in Telinipara, Bhadreswar, WB. What is the government doing? Every minute the sound the bombings is piercing our ears. @PMOIndia @narendramodi @MamataOfficial @AITCofficial #telinipara #riot #Violence pic.twitter.com/IP9DkKry0A
— Puja Agarwal (@Puja_Agarwal14) May 12, 2020
I tried to call CP of Chandannagar police Dr. Humayun Kabir many times, but he didn’t answer my call. State administration is mute spectator and Telenipara is burning. #SaveBengal
:- @me_locket, BJP's MP, Hooghly#Telinipara #TelniParaAntiHinduRiots
— Ashutosh (@AshuOpines) May 12, 2020
Meanwhile, Section 144 CrPC has been clamped in the riot affected areas (which should have been in place already, considering the nation is under a state of lockdown) and internet services have been snapped. Mamata Banerjee said, “stern action will be taken against those involved in communal clashes amid the lockdown. No one will be spared if found guilty of fomenting trouble.”
Incidentally, a section of Indian media and liberals have decided to turn a blind eye towards the apathy of Hindus in Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal. One wonders, had the riots been initiated by Hindus, in which Muslims houses and shops were to be torched and bombed, would the same gang of constitutional preachers have kept silent?
While there has been mum silence on the part of journalists on Twitter, secular media too has decided perhaps to let the targeted rioting against Hindus pass. Apart from TheQuint, ThePrint and NDTV, I could not find any reports from other liberal portals upto the time of filing this report. The incident has been buried by the media, as there is no outrage and the language used is weak. It is ineffective and it does not register the severity of the violence and it does not mention the names of the community and perpetrators.
Those who reported too, did not dare name the Muslims as instigators and effectors of the large-scale violence against Hindus. Despite the fact that the Hindus of Bhadreshwar’s Telinipara have been facing the brunt of a one-sided violence campaign, journalists and liberals, being the hypocritical spineless invertebrates that they are, chose not to get their feet muddy by speaking out against either the Muslim mobs, or the inept Mamata administration in Bengal.
However, to expect this particular section of media to report extensively on the anti-Hindu riots would be an overestimated presumption on our part. Going by precedent, the conscience of this media is only shaken when the ‘minority’ is under attack by the newly militarized majority of Hindus. In times like these, however, they deem it fit to rather not speak on the plight of Hindus.