Kolkata : The members of a fact-finding team of an NGO from Delhi, who have come to review the situation at Shibpur and Kazipara areas in Kolkata-adjacent Howrah district where clashes broke out over a Ram Navami procession on March 30, were on Sunday stopped by the police from reaching the troubled pockets.
This was the second consecutive day that the members of the team, ‘Fact Finding Committee on Human Rights Violation’ was prevented from visiting the pockets where clashes broke out. On Saturday, the same team was prevented by police from reaching Rishra in Hooghly district where clashes broke out over April 2 evening and continued till the next night.
On Sunday afternoon, after the members of the fact-finding team reached the toll- plaza on the Second Hooghly Bridge, that connects Kolkata with Howrah, a huge police team stopped their vehicles from approaching Shibpur and Kazipara areas.
The police officers leading the force’s contingent told the team members that they will not be allowed to reach those troubled pockets since Section 144 was imposed in the areas. The police officers also told them that the arrival of the fact-finding team members at Shibpur and Kazipara might result in an assembly of local people following which Section 144 will be breached.
The team members were seen entering into a heated exchange of words with the police officers. They alleged that the police deliberately stopped them from reaching Shibpur and Howrah probably because the state government did not want them to speak to local people and gather facts.
“What is the state government trying to hide?” questioned a member of the fact-finding team.
The six members of the fact-finding team reached Kolkata on Friday night and on Saturday afternoon they started for Rishra to visit the troubled spot. They are supposed to go back to New Delhi and give a report to the Union government on this count.
On March 30 afternoon clashes broke out at Shibpur area in Howrah district over a Ram Navami procession. On the next day the tension escalated and got extended to the adjacent Kazipara area in the same district. — IANS