In a shocking turn of events, CRPF jawans overlooking the election process in West Bengal were attacked with stones, sticks and improvised weapons by a mob of Muslims in the Canning (Purba) constituency. The unfortunate incident is less reported by mainstream media, but the disturbing visuals of the mob attack are now viral on social media.
The incident took place on 3 April 2021, when TMC MLA Saokat (Shaukat) Molla was addressing a largely Muslim crowd. As per a report covered by Arambagh TV news channel, the mob constituted not only of the supporters but also workers of the TMC party.
After Mollah concluded his address to his followers and party workers, the crowd pounced at the central forces present in the locality. Though CRPF jawans were armed with their service batons, the massive Muslim mob charging at them with makeshift rustic weapons outnumbered them. The Jawans decided to withdraw in the face of the murderous mob that could have easily developed into a riot-like situation in the constituency, if not the entire state.
The mob also assaulted the journalists who were covering the situation and one reporter had to be rushed to a nearby hospital.
In his defence, Saokat Mollah alleged that the CRPF forces had ‘instigated the violence’ by beating up his people with lathis. However, no cases of violence instigated by the central forces on the locals of Canning (East) have been reported or complaints lodged against the CRPF with the local police station as yet.
It must be mentioned that Saokat Molla has a reputation for engaging in extremist activities in the area. The area has also been in news for illegal arms manufacturing units. During a TMC meeting, Molla was rebuked by CM Mamata who said ,”apart from violence and bomb-making, what work do you do?” He is also accused of being behind an attack on BJP President JP Nadda’s convoy, and later threatening citizens ‘till now we only attacked cars of BJP leaders but in coming days we would beat BJP supporters’.
In 2013, Canning had witnessed an anti-Hindu pogrom in which over 200 Hindu homes were burned and dozens of Hindu shops looted by a 10000 strong Muslim mob. Former Secretary of banned terrorist orgnaisation SIMI & TMC‘s Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Hassan Imran was accused of being the chief conspirator of the Canning violence, but faced no action despite a police complaint being lodged against him.
CRPF jawans being attacked in a TMC constituency sits perfectly with the party matriarch Mamata Banerjee’s displayed hatred and utter disapproval for them. The state Chief Minister has regularly slandered the central forces as “north Indian goons” or hoodlums hired by Amit Shah in various public meetings.
Not shying away from showcasing her bigotry towards the “outsider” central forces, Mamata Banerjee can also be seen encouraging the womenfolk in her rallies to confront the “outsiders” or BJP-hired goons with utensils like spatulas, ladles and so on. With the state head inciting hatred for central forces, it doesn’t come as a surprise that CRPF jawans, who have been stationed in West Bengal to ensure a fair and peaceful election, were attacked in a minority-dominated TMC bastion.
The state has completed two phases of elections out of eight. Though these elections were not completely free of violence and bloodshed, which has become the election norm in the state, political analysts and surveyors foresee the lotus blooming in the eastern state.
Understandably, this has thrown the ruling dispensation into unease. Mamata Banerjee appears disconcerted and agitated in her public appearances as well. Hence, probabilities of the attack on the CRPF being well contemplated and planned are high.
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