'It was planned in such a manner that it was made to look like a communal incident.'
Mausam Noor, the two-time Congress MP from Maldaha Uttar (North Malda), speaks to Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com
What is the situation in Kaliachak after the January 3 riot?
The situation is stable and peaceful now.
What was the reason behind the trouble there?
It is being portrayed as a communal incident, but it was actually not a communal incident.
It was planned in such a manner that it was made to look like a communal incident.
It was the work of anti-socials who are involved in anti-national and anti-border activities like drug smuggling, fake currency notes smuggling and extortion and all sorts of other criminal activities.
Most of these criminals belong to the TMC (Trinamool Congress)...
How could 100,000 people gather in Kaliachak without the state government getting an inkling about such a huge protest?
One lakh people were gathered by the Edara-e-Shariyah. I don't know exactly what happened and so we have demanded a CBI inquiry into the January 3 incident.
What did the people of Kaliachak tell you when you visited them?
The protesters were very peaceful. But some anti-social elements flared up the whole incident. They went to the thana (the Kaliachak police station) and burned criminal records of the smuggling kingpins in this area.
The people who had gathered there for a peaceful protest wouldn't go to the thana and burn records of criminals there.
A few people who came out of the protest went to the police station and other places and undertook violent activities.
Why is the West Bengal chief minister not taking action against those involved?
There has to be a concerted effort by the state and central governments to take firm action against these criminals, because this is not a particular incident.
Of course, this is the most alarming incident, but such incidents keep happening all the time.
Even during the day time there are bombings, murders. There are groups within the TMC who are fighting for supremacy in this area for more power and because of this the whole area is under unrest.
Definitely, very firm action needs to be taken against them.
Is the BJP trying to play with fire in Maldaha?
Absolutely. We are going to face the assembly elections in about three months and so people are trying to give it a communal colour.
By people, do you mean the BJP?
Yes (the BJP). Even the TMC, which is trying to cover up the incident, because they are trying to protect their people. The BJP is trying to encash by portraying this as a communal incident, so that they can do communal politics in the elections.
You represent Maldaha Uttar (North Malda) and your uncle Abu Hasem Khan Chaudhury represents the Maldaha Dakshin (South Malda) constituency in the Lok Sabha. How geared are you to face the assembly election in Maldaha district?
We are very much prepared. These (two Lok Sabha constituencies) are strong Congress bastions so we have nothing to fear. But we fear that the elections might turn out to be very violent and the voters will not have the right atmosphere to participate in this election here.
We need a peaceful atmosphere for people to go out and vote without fear.
If they cast their vote fearlessly, definitely the Congress will win all the seats in Maldaha district with a big margin.
But if an atmosphere of fear is created, then obviously people will not come out of their house to vote.
Every time Kaliachak assembly constituency votes, there is lot of rigging by the goons of the TMC and the CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and a lot of violence takes place during elections here.
Last time we had asked for the central police force during the election. This (Kaliachak) incident is all the more alarming. I would request the state and the central government to come together and ensure that firm action is taken against the criminals trying to inculcate fear in the hearts of the people here.
You said the Kaliachak incident was not communal. How do you explain the fact that the Hindu locality of Baliadanga was attacked by a mob?
If this would have been a communal incident, there would have been a ripple effect. It would have continued for some time. But there was only one incident.
This was the work of criminals who wanted to portray this as a communal incident and burn down the police station with all their criminal records and try to escape law and punishment.