Villages in Sandeshkhali PS under communal attack; united resistance by victims prompts police action

In the morning of 31st August, a mob consisting of Muslim miscreants attacked and destroyed several shops and severely beaten the shop owners in Sarberia area of Sandeshkhali police station in North 24 Parganas district. Mr Bhombol Pramanik and his son Bapi Pramanik from Charabidya village were severely injured in these attacks. When police failed to control the situation, RAF has been deployed. But RAF too were attacked by the Muslims. 4 RAF personnel were injured and one police vehicle was fully damaged. Over a thousand strong mob roamed the adjoining areas of Sarberia, Rajbari and Agarati while communally provocative announcements blared loudly from the loudspeaker’s Rajbari Purbapara mosque.
Those on the receiving end of the attack felt terrorized in a manner reminiscent of attacks in Deganga where properties belonging to the Hindus were attacked and looted by Muslims from neighbouring villages while the police looked on helplessly. In recent times, local criminals previously owing allegiance to the CPI(M) have promptly switched sides after the TMC came to power and have continued to receive political patronage. Consequently, their criminal activities have continued unabated with the police unable to stop, arrest or even restrain the criminals, which include leading gangsters of the area like Shahjahan Sheikh, Shahjahan Gazi and others.
During this recent attack, the victims had limited options, either to engage in a bloody fight with the criminal gang or migrate away from their hearth as many have done over the decades across Bengal. On the following night, the pillaging continued and the shops of Kamal Bisoyee and Milan Bisoyee were attacked resulting in a loss of goods worth 7 lakhs. Following these, the local Hindu community seemed to have mustered courage to register a protest. They were shocked to find that the SDPO of Basirhat police station, Mr Abhijit Banerjee, instead of controlling the situation, tried to break the evolving resistance by threatening to arrest Mr Narayan Paik on the pretext of narcotics (marijuana) cases to be slapped against him. The following day on 1st September, suffering Hindus decided to thwart further attacks upon them by organizing a resistance. In Janapara village, local youths kept tight vigil and chased away a mob of miscreants while in another village it was Rapid Action Force (RAF) that thwarted the advances of the rampaging mob. In the late night, the Circle Inspector of police came to the village of Nalkara and assured the local Hindu youths that stern action to be taken by the police as and when necessary and requested them not to be provoked by rumours.It appears that the development of resistance amongst the Hindus for appropriate retaliatory and defensive measures in case of further attacks prompted the police to take note of situation. Eventually the police arrested a total of 18 persons, nine from each community. TMC leaders Mr. Ranjit Das indirectly and TMC Panchayat Samity (Sandeshkhali Bl.-1) Sabhapati Smt. Aparna Halder openly pressurizing the police to arrest Mr Narayan Paik and other leaders who resisted the attack.