Ban on cattle smuggling led to Basirhat crisis, "not a communal issue": Mamata govt

Ban on cattle smuggling led to Basirhat crisis, not a communal issue: Mamata govt

New Delhi: Stalling cattle smuggling and strong action by West Bengal police on illicit liquor trade along the Indo-Bangladesh areas in North 24 Parganas have led to the grim situation and the 'communal tension' in Basirhat areas, the state government has reportedly informed the Centre in its latest report. According to sources, the report from state Home department to the Union Home Ministry has also raised questions about the "efficacy" of the Border Security Force. The elaborate report from the Mamata Banerjee government was sent to the Centre after Ministry of Home Affairs sought separate and detailed reports on the violence in Badurai and Basirhat regions of the vulnerable district. The initial violence was reported from Badurai in Basirhat sub-division, but it later spread to other parts of the sub-division as two communal organisations from either side became 'hyper-active'. The Mamata Banerjee government - under attack for not being able to handle the situations that led to communal clashes - has also protested the manner in which the Central government 'cooperated or did not extend expected cooperation' to the state agencies. "However, things have been brought under control," the report said, according to sources. "The state government presumes ban on smuggling of cattle and illicit liquor in the area recently at the personal directives of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has frustrated unscrupulous elements. To give the issue a communal colour will be wrong," a state government source told UNI. The state government has also informed the Centre that family of the deceased Kartik Ghosh will be given Rs two lakh compensation and one person from the family will be provided with a suitable job, sources said. Joining issue with the West Bengal Chief Minister for her blistering attack against the BJP and the Centre, the saffron party has on Saturday said that none other than Ms Banerjee is "directly responsible" for all the troubles in the state. "Whatever is happening in the state whether it is in Darjeeling hills and Basirhat, the Chief Minister is totally responsible," BJP leader and Union Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters here. A delegation of BJP MPs comprising Meenakshi Lekhi, Satyapal Singh and Om Mathur was detained on Saturday by West Bengal Police and prevented from proceeding towards the violence-hit Basirhat. On Friday also, three separate teams from BJP, Congress and the CPI-M were prevented from visiting Basirhat.

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