Amta market confrontation ruled by communal overtone

A recent fracas at Kaltala More market in Amta, Howrah threw the administration out of gear for hours posing questions on the fast changing and precarious reality in the state. On 5th June, 2013, at 5 pm in the local market a burqa-clad woman was caught red-handed while stealing litchis from a fruit stall that was owned by another woman. The development led to a wild altercation between the two, which finally snapped when the fruit seller slapped the female thief. Without losing time, the burqa-clad woman phoned her acquaintances and within the next 30 minutes no less than 100 hooligans belonging to the Muslim community reached the spot from surrounding areas like Khainan, Gazipur, Deora, Chanderpur and started a mayhem. From the onset they were trying to exploit the detached silence of the neighbourhood and this got apparent when hoodlums started raising slogans to avenge an apparent insult of a Muslim woman by raising communally charged slogans. When the situation was fast moving out of control, other shopkeepers, sensing more trouble in the offing, unanimously came to the fore to stop the situation from worsening. Initially there was a heated argument between the two groups but it gave way to a direct confrontation pretty soon. Shopkeepers simply thrashed the hooligans with sticks of night guards in the area following which they made a hasty retreat.

But a complaint regarding the retaliatory attack by shop owners was lodged by Muslim youths the next day at the Amta police station. On the same evening, I.C. of police station went to Kaltala More market and warned the shopkeepers there of stern action if incident like this occurred in the future. The officer also instructed the shopkeepers that instead of thrashing, they should have handed the female thief over to the police station. And as a token punishment, the female fruit seller was ordered to shut down her shop. This act of gross injustice did not go down well with the rest of the shop owners who sensed a communal angle to the harsh sentence. The shopkeepers were so infuriated that they virtually chased the police team away from spot. The police team was smart enough to appreciate the mood of the market and fled from the scene almost instantly. Later on in the night, all shopkeepers of the market went to the Amta police station and protested against the nexus between police and offenders belonging to the Muslim community, specifically against the I.C. of Amta police station.

Hindu Samhati regularly monitors and reports violations against Hindus in West Bengal. We also work with both governmental and NGO agencies for proper education on protection and ensure remedies to the Hindu populace as per prevailing law of the land.


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