“Border area with Bangladesh new home for Islamic groups”

A Central team of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which visited the State earlier this month has accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government of ‘patronising and harbouring’ fundamentalists in the State.

In a report submitted to Union Home Minister and BJP president Rajnath Singh, the five-member BJP team that visited Sandeshkhlai in North 24 Parganas district on May 31 has described the alleged attacks on party workers a ‘larger design to spread terror through a nexus of Islamic groups’.

“The border area with Bangladesh is a new home for Islamic fundamentalist groups. They are being patronised by the Trinamool government for their vote-bank politics,” the report which has been accessed by The Hindu said.

Senior BJP leader and vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, two MPs from the State - S S Ahluwalia and Babul Supriyo - along with the State’s co-in-charge Siddharth Nath Singh and national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi were part of the team.

The four-page report has been signed by all of them, including State BJP president Rahul Sinha.

The team in its ‘observations and suggestions’ section of the report has gone on to point fingers at certain elements from Bangladesh trying to create disturbance in the State. “A certain section among Trinamool leaders was also harbouring activists and criminals of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh, who had crossed over to West Bengal to create communal tension and fan fundamentalist ideas,” the report said.

Referring to the situation in the areas of the State bordering Bangladesh, the report points out that illegal activities such as ‘vigorous infiltration and illegal trade of all kinds of goods, human trafficking, and smuggling of cattle and fake currency notes” are prevalent.

While the BJP team has held the ‘strange decision of the UPA-II of disarming the Border Security Force (BSF) and instructing them not to use lethal weapons’ one of the reasons for the situation, it said that ‘these groups had emerged as threats to national security’.

Observing that the ‘rise of the BJP as a major political force in the last Lok Sabha elections has posed a serious threat to the nefarious designs of these elements’, the team said the ‘political parties were supporting and abetting their activities and therefore they were trying to unleash a cycle of violence and retribution against BJP workers’.

The Trinamool Congress on the other hand has denied all the claims and said the BJP wanted to create communal tension by making such ‘sensitive and baseless’ claims. “It is nothing but an attempt by the BJP to create communal divide in the State and reap political benefits out of it,” Trinamool MP Sultan Ahmed told this correspondent.

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