Kolkata, Jan 11 (IANS) Hours after a BJP team was denied permission to visit violence-hit Kaliachak in northern West Bengal’s Malda district, a CPI-M delegation headed by Lok Sabha member Mohammad Salim received the same treatment from the district administration.
Salim, also a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, said that despite having given prior intimation to the district administration about their visit, they were stopped by a large posse of policemen at Amriti, about 35 km from Kaliachak.
“They said our visit could lead to law and order problems. Though I told them that my aim was to ascertain the facts by talking to the people, they refused to budge,” said Salim.
Salim wondered whether the Trinamool administration had something to hide and so was stopping all opposition parties from going to the troubled spot.
Earlier in the day, three BJP MPs — Bhupendra Yadav, Ram Vilas Vedanti and S.S. Ahluwalia — were detained soon after they alighted from Gaur Express at Malda station on way to Kaliachak, and forced to board a train for Kolkata.
According to reports, protesting against remarks allegedly made to “hurt religious sentiments” in Uttar Pradesh, a large number of people on January 3 went on a rampage in Kaliachak, torching vehicles including those belonging to the Border Security Force (BSF) and also attacked a police station.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asserted that the violence was not the result of a communal strife but a fight between BSF personnel and residents of the area.