2016 Kaliachak riots

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kaliachak
Date 3 January 2016 (2016-01-03)
Location Malda district, West Bengal, India
24°48′N 88°02′E / 24.8°N 88.03°E / 24.8; 88.03Coordinates: 24°48′N 88°02′E / 24.8°N 88.03°E / 24.8; 88.03
Methods Public demonstration and clashes
Casualties
Death(s) none reported
Injuries 30+
Arrested 10
Malda District is located in West Bengal
Malda District
Malda District
Location of place of riots in West Bengal, India

Riots broke out in Kaliachak, Malda district in West Bengal, India on 3 January 2016 when a part of a protest rally attended by thousands of Muslims turned violent.[1][2][3] The Muslims were protesting the remark of Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari made on 3 December 2015 in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which allegedly made derogatory remarks against the Muslim prophet Muhammad.[4][5][6][7][8]

A section of that protest rally turned violent when police and Border Security Force (BSF) confronted the protesters. Mob vandalized Kaliachak Police station, block development office and public property injuring 30 policemen. Several private and government vehicles including BSF and North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) vehicles were torched. The train service was disturbed as protesters blocked railway tracks at Khaltipur railway station[9]

Background[edit]

Malda district of West Bengal has a mixed population comprising Hindus and Muslims. According to 2011 Census of India, Malda district is one of such districts in India which has Muslim population comparable to the Hindu population where in Kalichak block Muslim population shares the major proportion.[10][11] This district also shares border with Indian state Bihar and Jharkhand, also an international border with Bangladesh. This place is considered to be a safe passage of illegal drug mafia as well as poppy traders.

Remarks on homosexuality[edit]

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dating back to 1861, and not amended till date, makes homosexual sex punishable by law and carries a life sentence. In 2009, the High Court of Delhi found the law unconstitutional, effectively invalidating the ban. Four years later, on 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the lower court's decision, restoring the statute while leaving it to the Lok Sabha to amend the law.[12] Since re-criminalisation, several politicians, including former External Affairs Minister Shashi Tharoor [13] and Bharatiya Janata Party Finance Minister Arun Jaitley[14] opined in favour of legal decriminalisation

Jaitley opinionated to reconsider judgement on homosexuality by Supreme Court on 28 November 2015 at Times Literature Festival in Mumbai.[15] On 2 December, Azam Khan, a Muslim senior politician of the Samajwadi Party and a member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly,[16][17] responded to Jaitley's speech by saying that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh members are homosexuals as they do not get married. [18] Tiwari claimed to be the working president of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. He was arrested in Lucknow on 3 December 2015. A case under IPC sections 153-A (promoting enmity between groups on ground of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) was registered against him at Naka Hindola police station, Lucknow. Protest rallies, against his statement, were held by several Islamic groups across the nation, most of them demanding death by hanging.[19]

Protests and violence[edit]

Idara-e-Shariya and Anjuman Ahle Sunnatul Jamat, a Muslim organisation had held a protest gathering with prior permissions from concerned authorities in Kaliachak on 3 January 2016 demanding death by hanging of Tiwari which was attended by 30,000[9] to 2.5 lakh Muslims.[20][21][19] A set of people from the protest rally turned violent and vandalized Kaliachak Police station, block development office and public property. Several private and government vehicles including Border Security Force (BSF) vehicles were torched. A NBSTC bus was also torched on National Highway 34 leaving several vehicles stranded on the highway. Over 30 people including police officers were injured. The train service was disturbed as protesters blocked railway tracks at Khaltipur railway station. When police stopped protesters, the riot broke out.[9][21][20][22] According to some news reports, Shani Temple, Durga Temple and other Hindu temples were attacked at Baliadanga and around 25 houses and shops owned by both Hindus and Muslims were vandalized.[23][19][24]

Kaliachak, a place near an international border, is considered as a passage of mafia and anti-socials of the neighboring states, and has become a depot of many anti-social activities. Crimes like keeping illegal arms, cultivation of poppy, dealing of fake note, illegal drag trafficking are rapidly growing in this region. According to some news reports, taking the scope of religious outrage local goons who had criminal cases against them attacked the police station to destroy the evidences against them.[25][26][27][23][28]

Police had to fire 40 rounds in the blank in an attempt to control the mobs. Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel were deployed to control the situation. RSS activist Gopal Tiwari was injured in firing.[29] After the violence, police have put in restrictions on people assembling by invoking section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure. Ten members of a BJP delegation led by sole party MLA of the state Samik Bhattacharya was stopped near Rathbari area as their appearance might fuel the agiation. The members arrested by the police were later released. Also three member fact finding team of BJP led by MP S. S. Ahluwalia was also deported from the Malda station[30][19][22][24][20][31][32]

The Malda chapter of the civil rights organisation, Association for Democratic Rights (APDR),[33] has issued a statement that last Sunday’s incident cannot be called "communal by a long shot." Malda district secretary of APDR, Jishnu Roy Chowdhury, has blamed miscreants for "triggering" unprecedented violence, which is "a symptom of lawlessness in the State."[34]

Clash of Poppy mafia and Police[edit]

According to some news reports, illegal poppy cultivation and dealings are rampant in and around Kaliachak. Police and administration planned to destroy all the illegal cultivation of poppy fields, a part has already been done as well. It is suspected that poppy mafia are involved in this clash during the protest of the Muslims. According to police about 1500 acre poppy field has been destroyed by the administration the previous week.[35][36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "48 hours after communal riots, Kaliachak in Malda turns ghost town". India Today. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Why did the media ignore the Malda communal violence?". scroll.in. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Banerjie, Monideepa (6 January 2016). "Centre Asks Mamata Government For Report On Malda Mob Violence: 10 Developments". NDTV. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Here's why 1 lakh Muslims are demanding death penalty for Kamlesh Tiwari". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "This is what Kamlesh Tiwari said about Prophet Muhammad which infuriated Muslims". Zee News. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Everything You Wanted To Know About Malda Violence, But Were Too Secular To Ask". 
  7. ^ "Malda flare-up : why the BJP is making such an issue of it". 
  8. ^ "Muslim rally turns violent, mob burns police station over Kamlesh Tiwari's remarks on Prophet Muhammad". Zee News. 5 January 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c "Mob attacks police station in Malda". The Hindu: Mobile Edition. 2016-01-04. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  10. ^ "District Profile:MALDA". malda.gov.in. 
  11. ^ "WELCOME TO THE DEPARTMENT OF WEST BENGAL PANCHAYAT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT..." 
  12. ^ Gardiner Harris (11 December 2013). "India's Supreme Court Restores an 1861 Law Banning Gay Sex". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ "India parliament blocks MP's bill to decriminalize gay sex". AFP via Rappler. 19 December 2015. 
  14. ^ Dhamini Ratnam (14 January 2015). "BJP supports decriminalization of homosexuality: Shaina NC". LiveMint. 
  15. ^ "Arun Jaitely's Speech On NJAC at Times LIT Fest". Times of Indida. 29 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "Member Profile" (PDF). U.P. Legislative Assembly. 
  17. ^ "All MLAs from Assembly Constituency". Elections.in. 
  18. ^ "This is what Kamlesh Tiwari said about Prophet Muhammad which infuriated Muslims". Zee News. 12 December 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c d Panwar, Preeti (2016-01-05). "Malda violence explained: Muslim mob ransack police stations, burn vehicles". www.oneindia.com. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  20. ^ a b c "बंगाल: पैगंबर के 'अपमान' के विरोध में हिंसा करने के आरोप में 10 लोग गिरफ्तार". Jansatta. 4 January 2016. 
  21. ^ a b "West Bengal: Malda tense as anti-Tiwari rally turns violent". The Indian Express. 4 January 2016. 
  22. ^ a b "Ten people arrested after Malda violence: Here are the key developments". Firstpost. 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  23. ^ a b Roy, Rajat. "Decoding Malda violence: Unrest was more than communal incident, it was narco mafia's message to cops". Firstpost. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  24. ^ a b Nandishwarreddy.s. "Kaliachak riots Hindu minority targeted no media report - Kaliachak". 
  25. ^ "India's own Afghanistan in West Bengal, where heroin is villain : Mail Today, News - India Today". indiatoday.intoday.in. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  26. ^ "Malda riots: Why Muslim mob specifically targeted Kaliachak police station". Zee News. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  27. ^ Banerjie, Monideepa (15 January 2016). "Poppy Fields Of Malda May Be Key To Mob Violence On January 3". NDTV. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  28. ^ "Kaliachak clash because of poppy mafia". Ei Samay Sangbadpatra. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  29. ^ "Malda riots: Why mob specifically targeted Kaliachak police station". 
  30. ^ "BJP MPs turned back from Malda". The Telegraph. 
  31. ^ "Malda violence: BJP team stopped from entering Kaliachak, 10 held". .:: 5MM.IN - News. Archived from the original on 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  32. ^ "Malda violence: BJP team stopped from entering Kaliachak, 10 held". The Indian Express. 7 January 2016. 
  33. ^ "APDR". Archived from the original on 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  34. ^ Bagchi, Suvojit. "'Malda not a fight between communities". TheHindu. thehindu.com. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  35. ^ "Kaliachak clash because of poppy mafia - Eisamay". Eisamay. 
  36. ^ "Heroin and poppy is the main buisness [sic] at kaliachak - Eisamay". Eisamay.