In an incident, that apparently seems like an instance of a security breach at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Thakurnagar area West Bengal, the PM had to cut short his speech to 18 minutes and leave the venue hurriedly. PM was there to talk in International Matua Mahasammelan and Dharma Sabha, a programme organized by the Matua community.
This was the first time when PM Modi addressed the Matua community, a religious refugee community from Bangladesh that settled in the districts like North 24 Paragana and Nadia located at Indo- Bangla border and dominates the area.
The community has long been asking for the implementation of citizenship amendment bill which might grant them permanent citizenship in the country. The Matuas remain an influential group for at least two parliamentary constituencies in the region. A factional feud in the community helped BJP make inroad in the community that was otherwise under control of Trinamool Congress.
“Following the partition, minorities in the neighboring countries had to bear with serious torture, cruelty and religious persecution. After they ran away from those countries, they took shelter here. Don’t you think that they deserve to be the citizens of this country? But we want to know what does Trinamool Congress think about this?” questioned Modi.
However, the crowd went out of control then and PM’s security zone was breached.
Following a stampede-like situation, that followed by breaking all barricades near the PM’s podium, the unruly crowd started pouring into the high-security zone. The incidents of breaking barricades prompted the SPG to whisk away the PM from the venue.
The PM later went to Durgapur where he attended a railways programme and pointed a public rally. In the rally, he apologized for the trouble at Thakurnagar event. “ I want to apologize for the inconvenience and trouble faced by mothers and sisters at the Thakurnagarprogramme. It was a small ground where the crowd kept swelling. I can understand your love and for that love, I am here. But I also urge you to be patient,” stated the PM.
“Now, I can understand why Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress indulges into such violence. This is your love which makes her insecure, “ he further said.
Consequently, this is second such incident, in which a major security breach happened at PM ‘s programme venue in Bengal. During his last visit to West Midnapore district, where PM addressed a farmer’s rally, tents collapsed at the venue injuring more than 40 people. At Thakurnagar, various people were injured and a number of kids were separated from their parents triggering huge chaos in the area.
BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh stated the incident as a “sabotage”. “We were getting some information that some people were trying to create trouble. But the programme was not organized by BJP. Police and administration stood like a silent spectator. We need to be more careful when there will be a PM’s programme in the state,” said Dilip Ghosh.
Meanwhile, these two back to back programmes by Modi mark the beginning of his poll- pitch in Bengal. “The budget is just the beginning. There are more surprises which will come when the new government will place the full budget. We have started direct transfers of benefits to farmer’s account. That is why we stressed on account opening in banks,” he added.