Agrarian conflicts regarding vested lands are not new in West Bengal but the violence and hatred shown by Islamic miscreants, under the auspices of Sheikh Ismail, nefarious CPM leader, on 16/07/11 against Hindus in Gangagsagar, P.S. Sagar, in this context, is not only horrific but raises several questions also at the same instant. The bloody whacking of Hindus has revealed the ugly face of Islamic fundamentalism yet again and in particular of Sheikh Ismail, uncrowned king of the locality owing to his affluence, authority and nefarious activities. Without doubt, it has also illustrated how reigning Trinamool Congress (TMC) is wretched in the same area. Here is the first question. Has it started to hobnob with Sheikh Ismail being helpless?
Every tale has its own beginning and here, even the beginning has also its own beginning that dates back to the time when then omnipotent CPM had the policy of distributing vested lands. As per records, 250 bigha of vested land was distributed under control of Sheikh Ismail in the locality. Nevertheless, affluent Muslim families were also beneficiaries of the project while remaining part was distributed among underprivileged Muslim and Hindu families. All these led to sustenance of Muslim power in the environs.
Ascension of TMC to power in Bengal and its decision to change earlier status of 250 bigha of vested land in the surroundings, i.e. to take lands enjoyed by landholders instead of wretched ones and distribute those among poor people, appeared to be unbearable for Sheikh Ismail. Following the party decision, fervent TMC activists planted party flags in those lands, torn by followers of Sheikh Ismail repeatedly.
TMC activists, hailing from adjoining villages and championing the same cause, held several meetings in the vicinity and were sheltered by local Hindu families. Hindus were recognized as foremost enemies by Sheikh Ismail and his gang. To call these activities a halt, Sheikh Ismail held a meeting on 15/06/11 at night.
On 16/07/11, at 7.30 am, a contingent of almost 40 Muslim assailants, led by Sheikh Basit, brother of Sheikh Ismail, attacked residence of Amulya Das, one of those who provided shelter to TMC activists. The house was ransacked, turned into rubbles and his daughter-in-law Sulekha Das, age 25 years, was dragged outside. She was molested, her dress was torn and after that she was beaten heavily. Amulya Das was not spared; he was slammed violently and his fingers were also broken.
Hearing all these, a few Hindus, TMC workers at once, rushed to the spot. Assailants left the spot already. However, when (around 10 am) they were spotted near Gangamandir, Hindu youths struck back leading to injuries of a few attackers. The situation calmed down as a result and Hindus moved back. Little could they imagine the aftermath at that time.
At 10.30 am, Hindus learnt that Hindu properties, houses and valuables were being destructed and plundered by the same assailants. This time too they rushed to the spot but got awestruck perceiving trigger-happy postures among assailants, presence of lethal weapons with them and wholehearted support and presence of their womenfolk there, using lethal weapons like Katari, Chopper (rural weapons) and chilly powder simultaneously.
Seeing Hindu men the gang simply pounced on it leading to grave injuries of all. One of them is Sushit Maity, age 31. A chopper was applied on him and accordingly, his nose was cut in two pieces almost. He, at the moment, is fighting with death. Lalu Das, age 30, was also attacked with chopper and his hand got severely wounded. To take flight from sure death all he could do was to jump in a nearby pond. But Muslim attackers were last to leave him; they also jumped into water with swords and Lalu was roughly severed. His condition is grave at the moment.
Gopal Mandal, age 28, became wounded when an iron rod was slammed on his head. Panchanan Pramanik, age 31, got injury in chest. He is fractured currently and bleeding from inner side of his cheek is unstoppable still. All of them are in
It must also be said that a few Muslim TMC supporters arrived at that time but perceiving intensifying violence, allegedly they fled out of fear. Is this is one and only reason? Or were they disinclined to fight against their fellows?
Some of the assailants are Sheikh Ismail, Sheikh Basit, Sheikh Bhogu along with others. But non of them has been arrested yet and hence, all of them are roaming freely at the moment. Police, as per latest information, has declined to register separate FIR s from both sides, and has filed a joint FIR against riot.
But some questions are yet to be unanswered. Bankim Hazra, present TMC MLA of Sagar Assembly Constituency, is yet to adopt any valorous measure to put an end to the fracas and apply shackles to Sheikh Ismail. Notably, Sheikh Ismail was responsible to lead a brutal Muslim mob and attack HS workers in Gangasagar on 12 June 2008.
Is roaring TMC helpless before Sheikh Ismail in Gangasagar?
(A few pics of Hindu victims are next)