Calcutta (The Telegraph) —: “The chief minister has asked director-general of police Surajit Kar Purkayastha and home secretary Atri Bhattacharya to initiate stringent action against all the culprits without considering their caste, community or political colour,”.
Commenting on previous instances of communal strife in the state, a home department official said: “We did manage to defuse the situations then but the follow-up action was not very firm. This time it’s going to be different.”
This time, the state government is convinced that the flames were fanned deliberately to try and destabilise the government.
As the situation appears to be returning to normal in the affected areas in North 24-Parganas, the administration is veering round to the view that a tough response at the outset could have prevented tensions from flaring up.
“An internal report of the home department has revealed that the police’s hesitation in initiating stern action in the initial hours led the situation to snowball into a crisis on June 30 and July 1,“. “The same mistake will not be made…. You will see tough action.”
The state government has identified certain administrative failures that helped fuel the rapid spread of the unrest.
According to home department officials, those suspected of taking part in the attacks will be booked for rioting, promotion of disharmony, enmity or feeling of hatred, or attempt to murder. Any suspect charged with these offences will need to seek bail from a court.
“The chief minister felt that if the state government failed to display its intent to handle such incidents firmly, it might embolden those who were involved, and others as well,”.
(Brief by Shailesh Kumar)