Howrah: Dhulagarh has turned battleground since the last two weeks owing to the clashes that broke out between two groups. It spread like a wildfire in social media. Huge security forces have been deployed across the area. Kolkata 24×7 reports from the ground zero.
On Saturday, BJP delegation headed to Dhulagarh on Amit Shah’s instructions to review the situation. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, MPs Jagdambika Pal and Satypal Singh were among them. Actress-MP Roopa Ganguly couldn’t accompany them due to health issues. Police restricted them from entering the place. They staged a protest in Dhulgarh’s Chourasta and blocked the NH6 for a significant time.
The area have been cordoned off and is under tight security. A onlooker asked a local shop-owner the reason for such large number of police officials, to which came a prompt reply. “ All hell broke loose. Houses have been gutted in the nearby villages. Try and pay a visit to witness the real scenario.”
The ambiguity of the mayhem faded away while entering the villages. Many houses have been ransacked. A Diagnostic centre and medicine shop were among the several shops that were gutted. The rest of the shops are shut. Local panchayat has also halted their daily functions.
We came across a person in Dewanghat waiting for his bus to arrive. The violence has claimed his house in Jairampur. He is currently putting up in Domjur. “ All my belongings are burnt. Important documents like PAN, Voter ID- nothing is left. I have no credentials to prove myself as an Indian citizen.” He elaborated the incident on the fateful December 13. A religious faction had let out a special procession which was subsequently barred. The opposing group reasoned that it is a first of its kind in the area and cannot be conducted. This incited the other group and Dhulagarh turned into a pandemonium. Shelling of bombs became an everyday affair. Series of attacks were launched simultaneously.
However, the locals are alleging a deep plot behind the sudden eruption of violence. A minor brawl led to shelling of bombs. Assailants seemed prepared. They resumed action soon after the procession was hindered. They are claiming that the local TMC councilor of Panchla constituency Gulshan Mallick may be hand-in-glove with the attackers as most of them were outsiders. They couldn’t have effortlessly carried out actions if local support was not provided.
Gulshan Mallick rebuffed all allegations. He said, “Dhulagarh doesn’t fall under my constituency. I have no role to play in the clashes. These are also false accusations by RSS. I have been instructed to refrain from commenting on the Dhulgarh violence. Top leaders will clear all doubts.”
We came to know Dhulagarh and its nearby villages are not new to such collisions between dissenting groups. But never it has assumed such a large shape. We spoke to a tea seller along NH6. He recounted that Dhulagarh has always witnessed murders and rapes. But the construction of many factories have paved the way for a much tranquil atmosphere.
Locals are counting days for peace to return in Dhulagarh. They are urging the opposing parties to mediate on the issue. But the mystery remains as to who will be the negotiators of the same. Many have fleed the place and others are perturbed about the impending situation of Dhulagarh.