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Malda riots: BJP fact finding panel detained, forbidden from visiting area

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:13 IST

The three-member fact finding committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - formed by party chief Amit Shah to look into the Malda violence - was detained by the district administration on 11 January when they were on their way to violence stricken area.

The team, which includes BJP MPs SS Ahluwalia and Bhupendra Yadav, was sent back to Kolkata and they will now go back to Delhi and submit a report to the party leaders.

"We were cordoned off the moment we got down from the train at Malda station around 6:30 am en route to Kaliachak. The DM and SP came to the station and told us that they won't allow us to get out of the station, forget set foot in Kaliachak, where our presence may foment communal trouble. Now we have been forced on to a Kolkata-bound train," a Hindustan Times report quoted Ahluwalia as saying.

The administration and police reportedly did not allow the panel to visit Malda claiming their visit might lead to a deterioration in law and order situation.

A mob - of over 1 lakh people - took out protest rally on 3 January in the area against derogatory comments made against Prophet Mohammed by Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwai in December.

The mob reportedly attacked the Kaliachak police station and set it ablaze. The crowd also torched over 40 vehicles.

Despite allegations that the unrest was fuelled by communal differences, Malda residents as well as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have blamed the nexus of opium and other illegal trade in the region for the violence.

First published: 11 January 2016, 10:59 IST