Why Dhulagarh riots have been communalized, secularized and neutralized, as if nothing happened from 13-12-2016 to 31-12-2016? (1)

Why Dhulagarh riots have been communalized, secularized and neutralized, as if nothing happened from 13-12-2016 to 31-12-2016? (1)

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Secularizing the riots – both Hindus and Muslims suffered, but Muslims suffered more[1]: The reports coming after riots and printed in the newspapers appear strange, as they do in a more secular way pointing out that both Hindus and Muslims suffered, but Muslims suffered more and so on. Thus, the Indian express reports as follows: A fortnight after violence and arson brought nondescript Dhulagarh, at the heart of Howrah’s micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) growth story, to national discourse, locked doors, shuttered windows and burnt walls unite the neighbouring localities of Pollepara and Munshipara. They are dominated by Hindus and Muslims, respectively. Of many families that fled after the clashes on December 13 and 14, 2016 some Hindus returned this week (before 31st December). Most Muslim neighbourhoods still remain deserted. The reporter however has not exposed the secret or explained the significance of “some Hindus” returning back homes and “Muslim neighbourhood” looking deserted. District officials said more than 100 houses and shops were attacked over those two days[2].  Thus, obviously, the suffered Hindus would have returned to assess about their loss, whereas, the safely gone Muslims would return happily, when everything was normal.

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“Some Hindus returned this week. Most Muslim neighbourhoods still remain deserted”: Whether Aniruddha Ghosal had written this as directed by the editor of Indian Express or by the State authorities, it is evident that the tone and tenor or drafting, editing and approved text printed in the newspaper proves that the “communal riot” is interpreted as “secular” and “economic loss” is secularized, as if the insurance companies do not pay for the insured machines, etc., owned by the Muslims, but not by the Hindus. What happens to the uninsured houses and shops of the poor Hindus? Is it communal for them not to be insured, because of poverty? Here, the point is after the “communal riots”, December 12 and 13, 2016, nothing was reported in the print and electronic media. After the details spread through “Social media”, the elite, eminent and professional press woke up and started reporting guardedly, as Zee-TV colleagues were clamped with police action. Ironically, the fellow media people did not condemn the State government’s action for throttling the freedom of press, but, now, Indian Express gathered strength, but, reporting differently.

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Secularizing the loss: “More Hindu homes and shops were attacked, but the financial damage done to Muslim-owned factories is far more: “More Hindu homes and shops were attacked, but the financial damage done to Muslim-owned factories is far more,” an administration official said. Superintendent of Police, Rural (Howrah), Sumit Kumar said, “There have been 56 arrests. Violence took place on December 14 and since then it’s been peaceful. Investigations are on.” About 30 km from Kolkata, Dhulagarh’s MSMEs focus on embroidery and garment-manufacturing. Already dealt a big blow by demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, many units in the area have now downed shutters following the violence. According to local officials and unit owners, equipment averaging around Rs 5 lakh per unit has been destroyed, raw material burnt, and workers left unemployed. The economy of Dhulagarh has been crippled. State government statistics say there are 350 functional units in the Howrah clusters, of which locals estimate about 100 are in Dhulagarh. The Howrah units employ more than 9,000 people, and the average investment in each plant and machinery is calculated at Rs 5 lakh.

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Most of the garment manufacturing unit are owned by the Muslims: “I have seen at least 10 factories gutted in the last few days,” said Zakir Sardar. “Most units were owned by Muslims, and were in areas where people from both communities lived in equal numbers. These have been targeted.” Zakir’s factory, which employed 40 people, was destroyed, along with parts of his house. Why not the Hindus could not have any factory, though, they were also in equal numbers in that area is not known. Sheikh Allaudin claimed his factory, surrounded by homes of Hindu families, was targeted on December 14. 2016. Here, it is clear that unless the surrounding Hindus were attacked first, his factory would not have accessed to. Therefore, it is abundantly clear that the rioters wanted to attack the Hindus and the damage caused to Muslim factory was incidental. “We had got new machinery from abroad with loan amounting to Rs 18 lakh per unit. We were hoping to start exports from next year. We have now taken a loss that could touch Rs 1 crore. That essentially puts us out of business.” Alima Begum, another factory owner, said, “With demonetisation, we suddenly didn’t have cash to pay workers, and they understandably left. Most work in the garment sector is done in cash, especially with traders from Gujarat and Maharashtra. They stopped buying from us. And then the violence…” Here also, if their intention was business, then there would not have been provoking procession etc.

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Had they really interested in manufacture and income, they would not have indulged in rioting: As reported by “Indian Express”, as the Muslims were having embroidery and garment-manufacturing units, they must have concentrated only in the production, sale and earning profit out of the business. But, their involvement in politics, communal orientation and vote bank polity prove their intentions have been different. In other words, they have been exploiting the riots as a factor to increase the business, by making the Hindus poor. As the administration official said, “More Hindu homes and shops were attacked, but the financial damage done to Muslim-owned factories is far more,” then, the fact exposes their modus operandi. They have been pumping the profit or black money (as they used to sell without bills, accounting etc), for orchestrating riots. By displacing Hindus fro that area, they would settle more “Banglasesh Muslims” there, so that to increase their percentage easily. The idea of communalizing the loss in terms of “financial damage” is also intriguing, as to how they could think in such lines. In other words, the running riot project has become so profit making and this exploiting everything

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Hindus attacked the Miladi Nabi procession – now the story turns 1800 U-turn!: On December 13, 2016, a religious procession on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi was attacked. That is what many people from both communities in Dhulagarh agree on — and where their divergence starts. While the Muslim community alleged that their procession was stopped and Muslim youths were forced to chant names of Hindu gods, and then attacked, people from the Hindu community blamed “outsiders” for the attack. They alleged Muslim youths came prepared with weapons. The spark began near Annapurna Club at Dewanghat. Sheikh Narul Alam, one of the elders in the procession, said, “We had loudspeakers in our procession, and some people from the Hindu community objected to that. We turned off the loudspeakers. But some youths demanded that we chant names of Hindu gods. We refused. They started throwing stones.”

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The Hindu community has a different version: Indian Express says, that “The Hindu community has a different version”! Rabin Das, whose house at Banshtala in Dhulagarh was a few metres from the spot, said many youths in the procession were carrying “swords and bombs”, and then a crude bomb was hurled at his house. “We fled,” he said. Das said — and several locals concurred — his house was one of the first to be burnt. An embroidery factory abutting the house, owned by brothers Kamal and Jamaluddin Sheikh, was also gutted in the attack. “Who knows whether they (attackers) were Hindus or Muslims…. They were just out for blood,” Das said. Ujwal Das, a local worker, said: “The violence began outside the Allahabad Bank branch, where people had been in queue for long to withdraw cash. Tempers were already frayed,” said. It started with a stray fight, and became big, he added. On December 14, violence spread to hitherto unaffected areas — the primarily Muslim-dominated prosperous area of Haishar Para and Munshipara, and Hindu-dominated areas of Banerjeepara and Pollepara. The BJP has alleged that the whole incident was made worse by the TMC. Last week, BJP MP Roopa Ganguly alleged that a TMC legislator was behind the arson and looting, and that “minority appeasement” politics of TMC was responsible for the violence. TMC has denied the allegations.

© Vedaprakash

04-01-2017

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[1] Indian Express, WB: Its economy crippled by clashes, Dhulagarh picks up the pieces, Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | Dhulagarh (howrah) | Updated: December 29, 2016 7:23 am

[2] http://indianexpress.com/article/india/west-bengal-dhulagarh-violence-economy-crippled-4449637/

 

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