Riot-scarred Deganga says Trinamool MP ‘main villain’

Nation

As Rahul Gandhi begins his Bengal campaign, one of his immediate problems may be Trinamool Congress MP from Basirhat in North 24 Parganas, Haji Nurul Islam, who is accused of presiding over a four-hour mayhem on September 6 in Deganga that led to destruction of properties belonging to Hindus and the descecration of a temple.

Posters have appeared in the area, 25 km from Basirhat, demanding that the MP be punished. A rattled Trinamool has launched an investigation into the matter.

The violence, that started on September 6 and went on till September 9 despite deployment of Army, was triggered by erection of a wall around a Muslim cemetery at Kartikpur that Hindus said blocked entry to a temple and pandal of a Durga puja.

Police resorted to lathicharge and held four Muslims to defuse the situation. But the mob soon started a road bloackade and on September 6 evening, a mob led allegedly by MP Haji Nurul, of nearby Boyra, started a march to the police station.

On the way and back, hundreds of houses and shops belonging to Hindus were destroyed, apart from vehicles and police jeeps being set on fire. As the Army rolled in, CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee sent three ministers. However, the Trinamool boycotted the peace meetings.

The residents have no doubt that Nurul Islam was the "main villain".

"We have written to Mamatadi on the role played by Haji," Amiya Dey, a shopkeeper, said.

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