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Brawl over toilet use triggers violence in Hooghly district

Communal violence, triggered by a minor brawl over use of a public toilet during the lockdown, has spread in parts of Hooghly district. On Tuesday, violence erupted in Bhadreswar and bombs were sporadically hurled. A retired jute mill worker Sekh Shamsuddin, however, said that in Bhadreswar, on the western bank of river Hooghly, they were protected by “Hindu brothers.”

“Some men came from outside and attacked our houses, but the Goala (milk traders) community, our neighbours, came out spoke to them and sent them back,” Mr. Shamsuddin told The Hindu. Rajkumar Roy, a neighbour of Mr. Shamsuddin, said that those who came to “create a disturbance were outsiders who were not allowed to mobilise in the area.”

He, however, indicated that the incident was “small”.

But it was not as small about a kilometre further north in Telinipara, closer to the river. In Telinipara, tension started building since Sunday evening as some members of a community were stopped from visiting a public toilet, fearing spread of the virus. Some locals argued that one family in the area was affected and thus the access to the toilet was blocked. The other community protested, resulting in a scuffle, locals said.

“Soon after clashes were reported, bombs were hurled, a few shops vandalised, vehicles set on fire. Thankfully No one was killed or even very severely insured,” a policeman said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee issued a warning on Wednesday while blaming the Bharatiya Janata Party’s leaders for the provocation.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 2:01:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/brawl-over-toilet-use-triggers-violence-in-hooghly-district/article31569228.ece

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