Bengal Riots Update: Hindus Flee Homes, Homes Ransacked
The situation in town of Hazinagar and Halisahar in North 24 Parganas distric in State of West Bengal is still grim and Hindu families have started to flee homes as violence has not stopped since Wednesday. Vehicles, Shops & homes have been damaged and 30 people have suffered serious injuries in the communal clashes between Muslim and Hindu community.
The initial violence was localised around Hazinagar’s Naihati Jute Mill area where the Jama Masjid is situated, and the neighbourhood around Nelson Road that has homes of both Muslims and Hindus. By Thursday, the violence had spread to nearby Patterson Road, a Hindu-majority area adjoining the Muslim-dominated colony around Hazinagar Chhoti Masjid.
Hazinagar has been particularly tense for the past few months. “There has always been an issue with the Jama Masjid. Durga idol processions have traditionally avoided a route that directly crosses the mosque but since last year they have been insistent on using that route,” said Anwar Ali, 72, a tailor who lives in the area.
Four days later, Muslim homes stood empty in Hindu-majority areas, as did Hindu homes in Muslim-dominated areas. Many of these houses bore signs of having been ransacked. With shops shut, food and medicine were beginning to become scarce.
Anwar Ali’s shop, now gutted, was surrounded by shops owned by Hindus; these were left untouched. In contrast, BJP councilor of ward 23 at Halishahar Ravishankar Singh alleged, “I was conducting the tazia along with Muslim elders to ensure there was no violence. It was at this point that the mob turned up and started loot and arson. Even my office was not spared and they burnt everything but all Muslim homes and shops in the area were spared.”
Lets hope the situation returns to normality as soon as possible and peace is established