Kolkata : Protests were seen in parts of Howrah district in West Bengal, especially in the minority-dominated Uluberia subdivision, since Friday noon against the recent controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad.
Agitators blocked the National Highway-6 in the Salap and Uluberia belts in Howrah district for hours, which resulted in vehicles and trucks remaining stranded for over an area of around 10 km. Even ambulances ferrying critical patients remained stranded for hours because of road blockades.
In some places, the protesters clashed with the police personnel when the police force tried to disperse them. As per reports, a section of agitators attacked the police with brickbats and crude bombs. The police resorted to cane-charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse the violent mob.
At Domjur, the local police station was attacked, two police vehicles were torched and around 12 policemen were injured following the attacks from the violent agitators.
In some places, the agitators also blocked the railway tracks at different stations in Uluberia sub-division following which a number of trains got stranded with passengers. Certain trains had to be cancelled also.
On Thursday evening, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had appealed to the people agitated over the Prophet row not to block roads and railway tracks in West Bengal for the sake of convenience of the common people.
“I can understand your pain and anger. But I appeal to you with folded hands not to agitate by blocking roads and railways in the state. If your anger gets cooled down by killing me, I am even ready for that,” she said.
However, Friday’s sequence of events proved that her appeal did not have any impact on a section of agitators who continued with their violent agitation.
Condemning the actions of the agitators, the Kolkata Mayor and the West Bengal transport minister, Firhad Hakim, said that even after the chief minister’s appeal it is unfair to carry out such disruptive actions.
“The chief minister and all of us have condemned the comments of the BJP leaders. But even after that there is no justification for road and railways blockades causing immense convenience for the common people,” he said.
BJP leader and Kolkata Municipal Corporation councillor, Sajal Ghosh said “what is happening today in West Bengal is the result of the appeasement politics pursued by Trinamool Congress over so many years”. — IANS