Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Deganga 2010 : Islamists' Gift to Democratic India

The destruction created by the Islamist nexus of West Bengal was far more profound than what has been seen in the last sixty years in the state. The obvious intention was to intimidate the Hindu population to evacuate the area without physically killing a single Hindu. Millions of Dollars of Hindu owned properties were destroyed, temples were desecrated, and just as in the case of Kashmir, Hindus were asked to leave the 'land of TituMir'

Noted scoial activist Debajyoti Roy toured the Deganga area in September of 2010. We are providing this translation for readers to understand the long range damage to the Hindu psyche that Deganga 2010 may create.

Debajyoti Roy

The noted judge, Honorable Gopaldas Khosla, in his book 'Stern Reckoning', mentioned about a leaflet distributed by Muslim League in 1946. The leaflet stated: “Muslims must remember that it was only a Ramadan month when Quran was written. It was only a Ramadan month when Khudah permitted us to perform jihad. The battle of Badar which the great prophet fought along with only 313 Muslims was won in the month of Ramadan. It was also in the month of Ramadan holy great prophet established heaven in Mecca after winning the city with 10,000 Muslims. He also founded Muslim commonwealth. It would be a good luck for Muslim League that they have the opportunity to start the fighting in such a holy month.

In 2010, from 26th to 28th of Ramadan month (September 6th to September 8th) a terrible torture was inflicted on Hindus living in the areas like Deganga Bazar, Kartikpur Bazar, Karmakarpara, Viswanathpur, Changdona, Aminpur, Khejuridanga and Beliaghata in the east of Barasat. 70 percent of these Hindus are refugees coming from the erstwhile East Bengal. Almost all inhabitants from Chattalpalli came from Chattogram.

For the last forty years there was a Durgapuja going on. On the road towards this locality from the bus road, the Durga temple exists beside a plot of size around 2.75 acres. Left half of this plot is used as a cemetery by Muslims of the area. According to them, WAKF Board gave them this permission. Actually this plot was owned by Rani Rasmani once. Then government took over it. There is a sixty feet wide road on the right side of this plot. The residents of Chattalpalli area use this road and the same road is used by devotees to attend Durga puja in the temple.

The residents for Chattalpalli asked for very little. They wanted to continue using the road on the disputed land and hold usual Durgapuja outside this plot peacefully. But Muslims of that area did not want that. We went to the attacked areas between Beliaghata and Deganga bazar during 15th to 26th September of this year. After we went to Chattalpalli, we came to know that almost all local Muslims wanted to block the residents of Chattalpalli from accessing the plot by putting a wall around the plot. As a result they could stop the ‘unforgivable sins of idol-worshiping’ and encourage the Hindu Bengalis to leave their home.

On September 6th (26th Ramadan) morning, nearly 1,000 Muslims started digging the perimeters of the disputed plot so that they can construct the wall. The digging work was completed within a short time. When Hindus protested Muslims started verbally abusing and then began to assault Amal Kar, a Hindu resident. Suddenly, Haji Nurul Islam, Member of Parliament of Basirhat came to the place along with Ratna Roychowdhury, local leader of Trinamul Congress. Both sides complained to them and Haji Saheb took some people to talk to the police officer in charge of Deganga plice Station. After speaking to the officer behind a closed door he went to Jame mosque which happens to be near the disputed land. There he installed a microphone on the roof of the mosque after talking to the Imam and his associates.

It is necessary to mention that Haji Nurul Islam promised to hand over the disputed land to the Muslims and install a mike on top of the mosque if he would win the last election. It is also necessary to mention that Kolkata High Court is yet to declare a verdict on the disputed land and they have specifically ordered against installing the microphone on the mosque.

It is not clear where Nurul Islam went after he left the mosque. A large number of local residents complained that he along with Ratna stayed inside the local police station till 9 PM. Immediately after the Muslim festival of Iftar ended, a crowd of nearly 2,000 Muslim activists carrying pistols, large knives, gasoline, and acid attacked unarmed Hindus in Deganga and nearby areas. The political color of Hindus did not play a role here. The sweet shop of CPIM supporter Kapurias were attacked but so were the shop of dedicated TMC supporter Kanailal Gupta or the politically neutral Gopal Mandal. Countless calls were made to local police station immediately after the attack began, but none picked up.

We spent a long time in the localities of Deganga Market, Kartikpur Market, Viswanathpur, Khejuridanga village and Beliaghata. We talked to nearly 100 people for two days. Among them were Khokan Saha and 5 other persons from Chattalpalli, Uttam Saha from Deganga, Gopal Mandal, Arun Sadhukhan, Kanailal Gupta, Gopal Kapuria and his elder son, Sajalkrishna Das, Kajal Das and many more. We talked to Bimal Ghosh and Sarojit Das among 15-20 men and women in Kartikpur Market.

The shop that Bimalbabu owned is damaged severely. But the shop owned by a Muslim who is renting the place did not suffer any damage. A Muslim owned Mahima Vastralaya. His shop did not suffer any damage. Rapid Action Force was deployed on 7th September, 2010. The rampaging Islamists henchmen did not care about their presence and burned four cars costing around 1 crore (around 250,000 US $). Burned bodies of the cars were dumped beside the local police station in Deganga. Many buses and trucks were burnt down. The Kali murthi (icon) inside the main temple in Kartikpur was broken and the Muslim religious psychopaths pissed on them.

Six Hindu houses are completely burnt down in Khejuridanga, 1 km from here. The owners were Abhilash Ghosh, Nepal Ghosh, Basudeb Ghosh, Badal Ghosh, Tapas Ghosh and Harendranath Bakshi. These houses were attacked on September 8th. At that RAF and army were marching through the main road. That morning local Maklukar Rehman and Sohrab spread a rumor in the nearby Muslim locality that East Bengali Hindus from Kartikpur are playing soccer with severed heads of the Muslims. Then large groups of Muslim activists came out with the slogan of 'Naraye Takdir-Allahoo Akbar' and attacked the police car that stood in front of Haren Bakshi's house. They threw the car into the pond and began to beat the police constables.

After seeing this, ten members of Bakshi family ran a kilometer and sought shelter from the Muslim locality. After getting refused, they went to nearby Daspara and a Hindu family sheltered them. By then the home of Bakshis and six houses belonging to Ghoshs were being burnt. The Muslim fanatics burnt down the house of a Muslim named Ahad Ali in confusion. His wife Anwara Begam told us. Their home is literally small. The brick house beside this small house belong to her in-laws and nobody set fire to that house. There must be some motive in burning down Ahad Ali's small house. Except this incident, not a single Muslim property was damaged in the areas between Deganga and Beliaghata. Among the Hindus who suffered damage were supporters of all political parties.

After Kartikpur, we went to Beliaghata. We started from this place on September 26th. 2010. Bachhu Kramakakr's house and houses of about 15 members of the Hindu- Dhali community were burnt down. Hindu residents were beaten. Each house in this locality was looted. The gates of each of the houses were broken after charging bombs. So far it appears that Bachhu Karmakar suffered biggest loss in terms of money. He is the biggest goldsmith in this area. One eye-witness told us that RAF guards shot a Muslim youth named Sahabuddin when he tried to throw stone towards them. But a rumor was spread that Bachhu Karmakar killed him using his licensed gun.

Bachhubabu's shop was looted and his house was burnt down for this baseless alleged crime. Only the skeleton of the house remained. Luckily Bachchubabu escaped with his family. He was missing for days. We managed to meet his wife on 26th of September after much effort. She said, “We never had a gun in our house. We do not have a gun even today. The rumor was spread to loot our shop and house.”

75 year old Viswanath Ghosh was hurt. After entering his house the Islamist rioters hit his mouth. He lost his teeth. After that one started to beat his son Jagadish. Others started to beat the ladies after taking the jewelries from ladies. Each room in the house was burnt down and damage can be estimated to around Rs. 5 lakh ($ 135,000 US).

We could not visit most houses on the 15th September because of lack of time. But we could visit Tapan Ghosh's house and Narayan Ghosh's house. The Muslim looters burnt down Narayan Ghosh's car. All henchmen are local. Tarapada Ghosh, head of Panchayat dominated by TMC and a teacher by profession also lived here. After many people requested us, we spoke to him. He tried to put an insincere and failed defense of Haji Nurul Islam. He agreed that the events of those three days were a planned attack on Hindus by Muslims. We asked him that as a supporter of TMC would you hold CPM responsible? He answered, “Why was the administration inactive for last three days? From that aspect we hold left front government responsible.” Next day, another member of Panchayat Mrs. Kavita Vaidya told us by telephone that the Muslim activists tried to burn her family after putting kerosene on them. They had to kneel down and beg for their lives to escape the ordeal.

We went to all the damaged houses in Dhali Para on 26th September, 2010. Mainly we wanted to learn the truth about two news provided by a reporter Sukumar Mitra of Dainik Statesman. The first news stated that Hindu ladies from Dhali para were given shelter by Muslim ladies from the nearby locality. The news is not entirely untrue. The brother of a local leader, who was unwilling to mention his name, told us that it was part of the cruel plan. It was organized so that empty houses could be looted and burned down without any difficulty and casualty. It also served as an excuse to prove that local Muslims did not hate Hindus. The fact that Muslism in Beliaghata collected and donated Rs. 3 lakhs (US $ 6,000) to the Hindus who suffered loss is true as well. But there are deeper motives in it. The total loss in Beliaghata is estimated to be a few crores (1crore = 250,000) Spending only Rs. 3 lakhs was only an effort to silence the mouth of aggrieved Hindus as much as possible. Those who understood it did not take the gift of pity. One of them is Viswanath Ghosh. Among those who took the money was Sri Paritosh Ghosh.

We found that members of all Durga puja committees under Deganga thana got (police station) together to attend a meeting in front of the temple in Chattalpalli. While returning we heard that they will protest this heinous riot by not arranging Durga puja this year. Few days back Muslims went to local police station and threatened the officer in charge by saying that if the dug out part of the disputed plot is not opened within 18 hours, the consequence will not be pleasant. After that a police camp was organized in front of Chattalpalli Durga temple.

The residents told us that Maulana Siddikullah Saheb from Jamiyat-Ulema-A-Hind, a right wing Islamist organization, organized a ‘peace rally’ using men full of 8/10 trucks on September 22nd. The main slogan was” 'The sanctity of Deganga cemetery should be preserved'. In addition to that, 'Bachchu Karmakar should be arrested', 'Family of Sahabuddin should receive 5 lakh (500,000) rupees = 10,000 US $). 'The criminals should be punished' etc were among other slogans. Among the guests they said were present were advocates of Dalit-Muslim unity like Santosh Rana, Ravindra Debnath, Sukriti Ranjan Biswas and Sukumar Biswas. But nobody could validate for us us whether they were present there or not. Because everyone else were hidden inside the vehicles.

Immediately after Id, Haji Nurul Islam commented to a reporter from Tehelka magazine: “I have information that Yakub and Nitai from CPM were the main perpetrators of this robbery”. We could not trace even a bit of a truth in it. Islam also claimed that many Hindus who suffered loss celebrated Id with him that day. We failed to verify that claim. But we came to know that TMC local leader Arup Biswas accompanied 8-10 TMC supporters who went to Islam’s house to eat Sirni (special food item of Id). None of these supporters are among those who suffered loss.

We used discretion in investigating whether any political outfit was directly or indirectly involved in the heinous events of those three cursed days. We have talked to the supporters of Congress, BJP and TMC but they are not identifying any political outfit as the main culprit. Not even CPM is accused. But we could neither find any leader or supporter of CPM nor we saw any open CPM office.

If anyone went to spot to investigate neutrally, he/she would realize that behind the events of those three days there was no Hindu.

Among the victims who went to local police station were Sarbasri Sujit Mandal, Harendranath Baksi, Sujit Kumar Ghosh, Viswanath Ghosh, Jagadish Chandra Ghosh, Lakshmikanta Ghosh, Subrata Kumar Choudhury, Sukumar De and Bikash Chandra Ghosh. Local residents handed us a list that contained the names of sixty victims from Beliaghata.

As per the latest news, Abhilash Ghosh from Khejuridanga submitted a written complaint that contained a list of fifty nine Muslim anti-social elements in Deganga police station.

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