Asansol: The state government has turned down the Centre’s proposal to send Central forces, claiming that sufficient measures have already been taken to bring the situation under control. Authorities have imposed Section 144 in Asansol, following the clashes.
Internet services were also suspended. A huge contingent of police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) have also been deployed in Asansol to maintain law and order.After fresh incidents of violence were reported from Asansol since Tuesday, senior IPS officers have been sent to ensure that the law and order situation remains intact.
In connection with the Raniganj incident, the top brass of the state government had received a telephone call from senior officials of the Home Ministry, showing a keen interest in deploying the Central forces to tackle the situation there.Sources said the state government has made it clear that the situation at present is not such that the Central forces need to be deployed.
Partha Chatterjee, the state Education minister, said: “The picture portrayed by Babul Supriyo to his senior party leaders in Delhi is not true.” Taking a dig at the ruling party at the Centre, Chatterjee, who is also the state Parliamentary Affairs minister, said: “The BJP is trying to create unrest in the state, to give a jolt to the pace in which development is taking place in Bengal.”
In connection with the willingness of the Centre to deploy the Central forces, Chatterjee said: “The Centre is unnecessarily showing anxiety. I personally feel that the administration in Bengal is tackling the situation with all its capabilities. If they would not have taken steps to bring the situation under control, then Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Arindam Dutta Chowdhury would not have received such severe injuries.”
While replying to a question in connection with Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi’s plan to visit the hospital in Durgapur to see the injured DCP, Chatterjee said: “I think that peace should get restored first and confidence should build up among people. It must be looked into first and then there will be ample time to visit the place.”
Acording to a Press communiqué from Raj Bhavan, the state government has stated that it is not advisable for the Governor to visit Durgapur, as the nearby areas, including Raniganj and Asansol, are “still” tense. The Governor has appealed to all sections of society to maintain peace.Meanwhile, there were reports of clashes at two to three places in Asansol.
A policeman was injured when he went to bring the situation under control. Sources said three senior IPS officers — Sidh Nath Gupta, Jawed Shamim and Vineet Goyal — have been sent to maintain law and order in areas in Asansol and Raniganj respectively. They will lead a large contingent of police and it also includes specially trained policemen.
Senior administrative officials in the state Secretariat are also keeping a watch on the situation and taking necessary steps as and when required. Directions have also been given to take stringent measures in case anyone is found attempting to spread rumours.
Controversy has also sparked off as the Centre has sought a report in connection with the Raniganj incident, even when the situation has not turned worse. Questions have been raised as to why no report was sought when a similar incident took place in Bihar.