CPI(M) leaders stopped by police at Dhulagarh, sent back

Howrah: Close on the heals of a BJP central team’s attempt to visit Dhulagarh, CPI(M) leaders today marched to the violence-hit West Bengal town only to be prevented by the police from entering it.

CPI(M) workers, led by party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Md Salim and RS MLA Sujan Chakraborty, had marched to Old Dhulagarh crossing in Howrah district and were stopped when they reached the police cordon set up there.

They, like BJP three days ago, were asked by police not to proceed any further in view of Section 144 CrPC promulgated in the area since the clashes.

At this, the CPI(M) leaders left but said they would return after five days.

Yechury, speaking at a meeting at New Dhulagarh crossing, said the clashes that had taken place in the area were earlier unthinkable in Bengal. “We always knew West Bengal to be a picture of communal harmony.”

“What is the ‘Ma, Mati, Manush’ (TMC) government doing? Why could it not take steps to stop the clashes in Dhulagarh … The culprits must be brought to the book,” he said.

Chakraborty said that at a time when 115 people have died due to demonetisation there should be a united movement against it.

“A clash of the kind that Dhulagarh experienced is a matter of concern,” he added.

Hitting out at Mamata Banerjee for her rallies against demonetisation in Delhi and elsewhere, he said when Yechury had come down from Delhi to be with the people in Bengal and urge them to maintain peace, the chief minister was away in Delhi “to be the prime minister.”

Tension erupted in Dhulagarh when two groups reportedly clashed as a procession was brought out in the area earlier this month.

As per a senior officer at the Howrah Commissionerate, police had to use tear gas to bring the situation under control when the groups hurled bombs at each other.