July witnessed communal tensions in the state of West Bengal. Baduria and Basirhat in 24 North Parganas were the epicenter of violence over an objectionable facebook post on Prophet Mohammad circulated by a teenager. Many houses and shops were burnt down in a reaction and violence erupted for under a week. One person, Kartik Ghosh lost his life. One Souvik Sarkar, a 17 year old boy was arrested for uploading the objectionable post (Indian Express, 2017).
This incident was widely reported in the media largely because the BJP hyped this issue and called it a ‘national issue’. The BJP weaved a public discourse which gave an impression that Muslim population is a threat to law and order in the state in collusion with the State government. “Today we met the Governor and informed him about the grim situation in the state. The state government in collaboration with anti-national elements is directly responsible for the complete breakdown of the law and order situation. We have requested the governor to talk to the central government and send the recommendation for imposition of President’s rule in the state,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said (The Indian Express, 2017). Amit Shah, the BJP chief also accused the State government of Muslim appeasement. In this way a relatively minor issue was used to sharpen identity in West Bengal and polarizing the communities. The atmosphere in West Bengal was vitiated with the BJP constantly asking for President’s rule. The secular citizens in West Bengal were silent.
In order to study the conflict comprehensively and understand why such incidents are taking place and its wider impact on the society, a fact finding team was constituted. The fact finding team met various stakeholders and personalities from different walks of life like academics, elected representatives, survivors of violence, journalists etc to discern the socio-politic scenario of West Bengal which forms an over arching reference framework to fully understand the incident of Badauria and Basirhat.
Who was is the fact finding team?
A fact finding team consisted of social activists and writers. Amaresh Misra is an eminent historian and writer. Irfan Engineer is the Director of Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS) in Mumbai and an eminent scholar. CSSS is a nonprofit organization working for communal peace and harmony. It has carried out numerous fact finding missions in the past. Its interventions include publications of reports and relevant articles. Neha Dabhade is the deputy Director at CSSS. Mohammad Jalaludin is a member of All India Secular Forum (AISF). AISF is a collective of secular and liberal organizations and individuals. AISF has conducted various fact findings and intervenes to mitigate conflicts. Nasmin Choudhary is also a member of AISF. His area of study focuses on the revolt of 1857. Kingshuk Chakroborty is a journalism student and a local resident.
West Bengal has a checkered political history. The British came to India first in the form of the East India Company to Bengal and it remained their capital for a long time. The East India Company exploited Bengal. Siraj adullah, Nawab of Bengal, fought the Battle of Plassey to reclaim Bengal but lost. Bengal was active during the independence struggle and many intellectuals like Rabindra Tagore from the region enriched the political philosophy of India. The Faraizi movement in Bengal was founded to organize the peasantry against the dominant Zamindaars and protest against their exploitation. The British saw the Muslims as enemies and brutally crushed the revolt. The British keeping with their divide and rule policy partitioned Bengal in 1905. The British rule by way of their policies and communalization of history deepened communal identities in Bengal. The overarching value that held the Bengali society together was liberal ‘Bengali’ identity which transcended religious identities where all communities lived in harmony. Thus there were widespread protests against this move which compelled the British to revoke the partition later.
At this juncture it is necessary to shed more light on the Bengali identity mentioned above. This identity has to be problematized and cant be assumed as simplistic homogenous identity. The Bengali society was in a flux like the Bengali identity itself. With the advent of the British and their need to have English educated class for administrative roles, a class of Bengali society got western education and plump government jobs thus emerging as the intelligentsia under the British patronage. This gave them higher social prestige. This class which was educated in secular curriculum was called the Bhadralok with its own social morals and culture. At the same time most of the other population in this feudal society remained uneducated and poor. The colonial rule also influenced the society. One section struggled against the British rule by taking up arms and called the revolutionaries. The other elite section which was educated and also professionals believed in fighting against the British by Constitutional means and petitions. However there was a part of the Bengali society which was gravitating towards revival of the Hindu religion- while some wanted to use it as a tool for social reforms (e.g. Ram Mohan Roy and the abolition of Sati, the others used it to return to the glorious past. They leaned towards the Hindu supremacist groups like the Hindu Mahasabha. The growth and promotion of literature in Bengali language led to a renaissance which took new ideas to the disempowered classes and helped in constructing a pan ethnic Bengali identity. By and large the elite in the Bengali society were called the Bhadraloks and assumed a Hindu communal identity.
The trajectory of the construction of the Muslim identity in Bengal is also interesting to study. The 1871 Census of India by the British colonial government for the first time adopted a policy of counting population according to communal (religious) affiliation. This census focused on the contentious issue of religious conversion, as historians such as W. W. Hunter tried to explain the presence of a huge mass of Muslim population in the swampy land of eastern India by suggesting that Muslims were converted from the lowest strata of the Hindu-Bengali society. Accordingly, Muslims in Bengal were divided into the upper-class ashraf and the lower-class azlaf or atraf/atrap categories. These categories were based on the supposed ethnic and linguistic differences. The ashraf Muslims claimed north Indian ethnic identities and in some cases Arab and Afghan descent, whereas the lower-class atrap Muslims were thought to have been converted from the lower caste Bengali Hindus. While the ashraf Muslims lived mostly in Calcutta and other urban centres, the atrap Muslims lived in the rural areas. In regard to occupation, the urban ashraf Muslims were engaged, prior to the arrival of the British, in the Mughal judicial and administrative services, in trade, and some of them were landlords. The atrap Muslims were in most instances poor peasants. The ashraf and the atrap Muslims inhabited socially and culturally alienated spaces. The Wahabi and Faraizi influence on the Muslim community in Bengal led to strengthening of the exclusive Muslim identity amongst the rural Muslims (Khan, 2017).
But inspite of this flux, the Bengali society was largely peaceful and bound by a broad Bengali identity. However the violence subsequent to the ‘Direct Action Day’ called by Mohammad Jinnah. Jinnah who was the leader of the Muslim League had support of the elite Muslims and rooted for the formation of Pakistan. Direct Action Day was called after the Indian National Congress rejected the cabinet mission plan which kept the door open for partition of India. The Direct Action Day led to brutal riots in Calcutta. This riot was followed by riots in Noakhali in Bengal which claimed a large number of lives. But the mobilization for the ensuing riots was not done by the Muslim League alone. The Hindu Mahasabha got a potent opportunity to make itself politically relevant and mobilized on a large scale to keep the violence alive for many weeks. On 31st October 1946, Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, leader of the Hindu Mahasabha announced the formation of the Hindustan National Guards which will be a disciplined body of youth to engage violently with the Muslims to protect ‘Hindu’ interests.
Notwithstanding this violence the state has lived in harmony. Not only has it lived in harmony, it has become a shining illustration of composite culture. Nazrul Islam’s poetry and songs are still popular in Bengali culture. The Baul music is essence of the Bengali ethos and reflects the close interaction and bonding of the various communities in West Bengal.
The political history of West Bengal is interesting. The long communist reign of almost 30 odd years ensured that there was no overt communal violence though there were communal tensions. The communist rule which also heavily depended on support of the Muslims didn’t allow the communal tensions to fester and manifest in the open. This averted any major communal violence and ensured peace. At the same time this ‘peace’ didn’t translate into development of the Muslims. Muslims remained the most discriminated and marginalized groups with little access to education and livelihood. The various committee reports and research has shed light on it.
The Sachar Committee Report painted a rather sordid picture of the Muslims in West Bengal wherein it stated that Muslims lived in abject poverty. The Sachar Committee Report suggested that only 16.8% of the Muslim population lived in urban areas in West Bengal against 28% of general population in 2001. The infant mortality rate of Muslims in West Bengal was reported to be at 52 against 50 of the Hindu community while infant mortality rate under 5 years of age reported for Muslims was 77 against 68 amongst Hindu community. The literacy rates amongst Muslims in the state was 57.5% while that prevalent amongst Hindus was 72.4%. In 2016, a report published by Pratichi Institute tells a sorry tale about the condition of Muslims in West Bengal. The Report titled ‘Living Reality of Muslims in West Bengal’ problematizes the access of Muslims to education, livelihood and health along with other amenities.
The Trinamool Congress or the TMC came to power with an overwhelming support of the Muslims after toppling the Left government post Singur conflict and Rizwanur Rehman’s murder after his marriage to the daughter (Hindu) of hosiery Baron of Kolkata. In the Singur and Nandigram conflict, the Muslims farmers lost their lands and thus supported the TMC helping them to come to power. The TMC following the footsteps of its predecessor did little to improve the socio economic status of the Muslims. However it offered the Muslim community by way of tokenism. In April 2012, her government took a series of decisions that were dubbed “affirmative action” by the government and ruling party, but slammed as “appeasement” by critics. The Trinamool government announced stipends for imams and muezzins, and free land and education for their children. Hoardings with photographs of the CM and other leaders of Trinamool with their heads covered and hands raised in prayer came up in prominent places in Kolkata and elsewhere. An example is the massive hoarding on the EM Bypass in Kolkata, about a kilometre into the city, which features Mamata in one such photograph. The BJP has also accused Mamata of pandering to conservative sections among Muslims, targeting her for backing Noor-Ur-Rehman Barkati, the former chief cleric of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan mosque, who is known for his fatwas against Prime Minister Modi and state BJP president Dilip Ghosh (Bhattacharya, 2017).This act of tokenism and rhetoric of TMC has only helped perpetuate stereotypes against Muslims and the perception that Muslims are an ‘appeased’ minority. In reality, the Muslims are still poor and further marginalized in the social discourse due to the misconceptions spread against them.TMC has succeeded in sharpening of political identities.
The BJP is capitalizing on such tokenism of Mamta Banerjee government and polarizing the Bengal society. Earlier in 2014, when BJP came in power at the Centre, there were overtures from the BJP to TMC to support it. However since then there have been accusations from the BJP alleging that TMC is ‘appeasing’ Muslims. The BJP through different campaigns have been polarizing votes in Bengal. In 2014, riding on the Modi wave, the party won only two seats from West Bengal but its vote share touched 17.02%. That was a big jump from its vote share of 6.14% in the 2009 Lok Sabha and 4.06% in the 2011 Assembly elections. In the 2016 Assembly polls, in which Mamata stormed back to power with 211 seats out of 294, the BJP won only three seats with a vote share of 10.7%, but in the Coochbehar Lok Sabha bypoll later that year, the BJP’s vote share touched 28.5% and in the 2017 Assembly bypoll in Kanthi Dakshin, the BJP managed 31% of the votes. The BJP’s rise has coincided with a series of low-scale communal clashes across Bengal. In October 2016, soon after Mamata came back to power with a huge majority, clashes were seen in Jalangi (Murshidabad), Chandannagore (Hooghly), Bhagwanpur (East Midnapore), Kharagpore (West Midnapore), Hajinagar, Halisahar and Kancharapa (all three in North 24 Parganas). In December that year, a mob torched the police station and vandalised vehicles at Kalichowk in Malda, bordering Bangladesh. The same month, clashes broke out in Dhulagarh and Sankrail in Howrah, apart from Katwa, Jamuria and Kanksha in Burdwan (Bhattacharya, The Indian Express, 2017).
The BJP accuses Mamta Banerjee of being supportive of terrorism due to her support to Muslims. The BJP has always capitalized on the issue of the migration of Bangladeshi migrants in Eastern India by grossly exaggerating their number and posing them as a threat to the security of India. Similarly citing examples of chit fund scams and corruption, the BJP is questioning the development of Bengal. Thus the strategy of the BJP in West Bengal has been three pronged. They have mounted attacked on TMC on three issues- 1. Supporting terrorism 2. Appeasement of Muslims 3. No development in Bengal
According to sources in the RSS, from 580 shakhas in West Bengal in 2011, the number rose to 1,280 in 2014 and 1,492 in December 2016. In Basirhat, after the clashes, the BJP launched its ‘Bistarak Yojana’, a campaign to reach out to people, and claimed to have got nearly 10,000 fresh recruits, taking its membership in the subdivision to 25,000. In May 2016, Ramanavami was organized in a large way to instigate and show strength against the restriction on timings for the immersion of Durga idols by the State government. In fact similar incidents involving use of social media in objectionable ways, the clamping of strict restrictions on political rivals visiting areas and the BJP propaganda of TMC’s ‘Muslim appeasement have taken place earlier too- Ilambazaar in March 2016, Dholahat in September 2016, Hazinagar and Halishahar in October 2016 and Dhulagarh in December 2016 (Ghosal, 2017). This indicates towards the simmering tensions and mobilization in recent times.
The fact finding team visited and interacted with various stakeholders in the conflict. The Team met the family of Souvik Sarkar, the accused who allegedly circulated the derogatory picture which was found objectionable. The Team met the neighbours of the family as also the family of the deceased, Kartik Ghosh. There are survivors/injuries from the Hindu and Muslim community and the team met some of them. The Team met the members of ruling party in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress, Asit Muzumdar. The Team also met elected representative of the BJP, Mr. Srinivas as also the President of BJP Goa. The Team met the leaders of Muslim community. Avinash Nath is a Congress Corporator for ward number 13 of Bashirat and the Team met him too.
The fact finding team visited the village of Souvik Sarkar who allegedly circulated the derogatory picture of the Prophet. The Team spoke to Alauddin Mondal, owner of a carpentry shop in the village called Magurkhola. Naren Karmaker worked in his shop. Both told the team that on 2nd July a mob went to Souvik Sarkar’s house. They demanded that Souvik should apologize on camera and the footage will be uploaded on Facebook. Souvik’s Uncle, Bablu Sarkar pleaded with the mob to disperse and apologized to the mob with folded hands. He explained that his nephew is very young and made a mistake. But his apology didn’t pacify the mob. Some members of the mob went inside the house and searched the house to look for Souvik. They couldn’t find him. In the meanwhile, one Mr. Tridiv who is a teacher in the neighbourhood called up Mr. Amirul Islam and informed his about the restive mob. Amirul Islam was a former councilor of the area and currently worked at the Municipality of Bashirhat. He is considered influential. He in turn called the current corporator of the area. When the police, the corporator and Amirul arrived at the scene, the mob dispersed. Souvik was arrested from his house at 3am on 3rd July. However, accordingly to Mondal and Karmakar, a mob came to Souvik’s house on 3rd July in the afternoon. Police were already posted at the house. Looking at the mob which consisted of youth of 18 to 20 years of age, the police abandoned the house and went to Mondal’s shop. When flames emerged from Souvik’s house, Alauddin Mondal himself went to the house and tried to stop the mob. He believed that the mob was not from his village as opposed to the mob on 2nd July. When he tried to stop the mob it turned against him. He fled to his house.
In the village of Tantra, the team met the family of Kartik Ghosh who lost his live during the riot. Kartik Ghosh, 65 years old, worked on a poultry farm. He was survived by a wife and two sons, Devasish and Probasish. Devasish told the team that on 5th July his father went out for work. He was at the tea shop he owns and his brother Probasish at his workplace. Devasish heard from some people that his father was assaulted and bleeding at Bhavaninagar. But since there was a mob outside his house he couldn’t go to save his father. His brother Probasish arranged for an ambulance and police to rescue his father and take him to Bashirhat government hospital where he was treated. He was transferred to R. G Kar Medical College in Kolkata where he succumbed to his injuries. He was beaten up brutally with sticks on his arm and head. The family was given compensation of INR 2,00,000 by the Block Development Officer. Devasish said that the mob outside his house was from the neighbouring area of Pikepada. He denied the presence of any Muslim organization in his village. He explained to the team that the Hindus and the Muslims had very cordial relationships in the village. Muslims come to his tea shop and drink tea. There is positive interaction between the communities.
- Were the riots planned?
Who were the Muslims who attacked the Sarkar Family? Hindu witnesses said the Muslims who attacked where from outside the village.
There are contrary theories about how the riots took place and violence unfolded. The mob that attacked the Souvik Sarkar’s house on the 2nd July was enraged about the derogatory picture that was circulated from his facebook account. From the neighbours the Team gathered that this mob consisted of people who were from the Rudrapur, Souvik’s village. After his uncle apologized and pleaded with the mob with folded hands, the mob dispersed. The Mob checked the house for Souvik’s presence before it dispersed. They demanded that he apologize before the camera for his actions and that footage should be uploaded on social media. Souvik was arrested on 3rd July early morning. However a mob gathered again on 3rd July afternoon outside his as reported by residents of the village, Karmakar and Mondal, were not residents of the village but outsiders who didn’t recognize the residents of the village. The police, according to Mondal and Karmaker abdicated Souvik’s house where they were posted for protection. When Mondal and Karmaker saw flames erupting from Souvik’s house, they tried to stop the mob but the mob in turn attacked them. Thus it can be discerned that the violence on 3rd July was planned.
Muslims were also injured
The violence then spread in villages like Baduria and surrounding villages of Bashirhat. As opposed to the media reports which reported mostly violence which left members of the Hindu community injured and one deceased, the Team also met injured members of the Muslim community. There were mobs on 5th and 6th July which attacked members of the Muslim community. The BJP corporator did admit that in response to the attacks on Hindus, the Hindus also retaliated and stopping the buses carrying Muslims in Bashirhat. This violence and attacks claimed the BJP leaders were spontaneous and a natural reaction against the violence by the Muslims. It’s the same argument placed forth by the mob of Muslim members that their reaction was natural and spontaneous.
The Fact finding team met the Muslim survivors of violence as well as the family of one Muslim youth who was missing since the violence.
Abu Talib from Hussainapur village in Katapara works as a tailor in Surat, Gujarat. He wanted to go to Kuwait for work. On 4th July, he went to Bashirhat in the afternoon to buy medicines since he had met with an accident some days back. Looking at some police, he got scared and entered into a Hindu neighbourhood. He tried to seek refuge in a house of an old Hindu woman. She refused and asked him to leave the house. He was standing by a locked toilet when a mob surrounded him and stripped him naked. When they established his identity as a Muslim he was beaten up with bamboo sticks and wooden planks. He sustained head injuries, a fractured leg and also lost visibility in one eye. He got 22 stitches in total. He lost consciousness while he was being beaten up and found himself at the SSKM Hospital. He reported that the mob that attacked him consisted of the residents of that Hindi neighbourhood.
In Pikepada, Fazlur Sardar was a farmer. On 5th July at 2.30pm he was going to Bashirhat for work on his tractor. After being warned by the people he turned to go back home. Accidently the tear gas used by the Rapid Action Force to bring the mob under control hit Sardar. It hit him in the face. The RAF took him to the Bashihat hospital. His jaw was injured and needed a surgery with metal plate to reconstruct it. He was given no compensation. Upon being asked about the mob, he explained that the mob consisted of youth in their teenage. He didn’t recognize anyone in the mob but assumed that it consists of Muslims. He denied the presence of Muslim organizatrions like Jamaat-e- Ismali and Tableegi Jamaat in his village since there is no mosque. But he informed that the neighbouring village has members of Jamaat-e- Islami and Tableegi. He informed the Team that the relations between the Hindus and Muslims in his village are very good. In fact the first visitor he had in the hospital after his injury was a Hindu. Everyone lives in peace and harmony in his village.
Riyazul (Rizaul) Molla was a 23 years old fish seller. He went to Bashirhat town in Moitronagar on 4th July afternoon. He was assaulted at three places. Each time the group that attacked him had 10 to 15 men. He was identified as Muslim by the mob and beaten up with bamboo sticks. The mob he recollected spoke in a dialect spoken mostly by the Bangladeshis and thus surmised that they were probably Bangladeshi Hindus. His leg was fractured and he also surstained some head injuries. He needed further surgery. He was taken to the SSKM hospital in Kolkata by the police who rescued him. The Meenakha Police station recorded his statement.
In the village of Garakupi, Arafat Gharami stayed with his family. He was 21 years old and used to repair cycles for a livelihood. On 4th July, the day riots broke out in Basirhat, he left his house at around noon to go to Bashirhat to buy some spare parts for cycles and never returned home. His uncles Mohammad Ajmal Ali Ghazi and Hussain Mondal, they suspected that there is a connection between the riot and the disappearance of their nephew. The relatives inquired about Arafat and also lodged a missing report with the police. When they inquired with the shopkeepers from who Arafat was to buy the spare parts, they informed that he never reached their shop. The family went to the Basirhat hospital but was told that two unidentified bodies were sent to R. G Kar Medical College in Kolkata. They also went to jails, hospitals and other morgues but found no trace of Arafat. They suspect that Arafat was killed during the riots and the police has disposed off his body.
- Who were responsible for the riots/ mobilization?
Sectarian Rivalry between Muslim Groups:
The mobilization for the violence that went on for almost a week was planned and different actors have played a role. In order to understand that actors responsible for mobilization of the Muslim mob, the team interacted with the different groups who have influence over the members of the community. One group is of Amin Khobayyeb who is the son of the Pir. Amin hinted that the Muslims were mobilized by Mr. Mateen from another Muslim group. Amin narrated that the police had called Mr. Mateen when it was trying to bring the violence under control. But he refused to help citing a call from a leader who urged him to let the violence continue. He also informed that at the same time, the Hindus on the following days came out with sticks shouting ‘Jai Shree Ram’. Mr. Amin explained that the BJP in West Bengal is attempting to gain a stronghold. The BJP in order to polarize communities for electoral benefits has set aside Rupees 300 crore for a project. This project includes fomenting tension leading to violence. For this purpose they are hand in gloves with the Muslim League.
When the Team tried to find out from the group of Abdul Mateen the team was informed that Amin Khobayyeb led most Muslims and in fact he mobilized them and perpetrated violence.
RSS propaganda and mobilization:
The BJP corporator informed the Team that the Hindus were enraged because Muslims from outside Bashirhat were coming in the village. This led to a feeling of resentment. There was a Hindu mob which was out on the streets for two days. Though he said it was spontaneous he also said that the Hindus will not let the Muslims to dominate. He also admitted that this violence will benefit the BJP immensely.
- What was the impact of the violence?
No feeling of animosity
The violence has created a sense of caution amongst the residents of Bashirhat and Baduria. But fortunately there had been no impact on the economic or social relations between the two communities. Rudrapur where Souvik Sarkar stayed was calm. The two communities interacted and there was peaceful dialogue. None of the residents had left the village. There was no enmity amongst the Hindu residents against the Muslim members and vice versa. The Muslim neighbours found it difficult to believe that Souvik had circulated the post and also argued that he is too young and such an incident should be forgiven.
When the Team visited the family of Kartik Ghosh, the deceased in Baduria, his son Devasish Ghosh told the Team that he owned a tea shop outside the house. Though there was vandalism during the riot on 5th July, he had reopened his shop and its business as usual for him. Muslim residents of the village came to his shop and interacted freely. He harboured no enmity or ill feelings against any community. The Muslim members who were injured during the riots also bore no ill feelings towards any community.
Avinash Nath, a Congress corporator from ward number 13 of Bashirhat narrated a heartwarming incident. During the riots, he formed peace army consisting of members of both communities and persuaded some Muslim families, which had left their homes during the riots to return. Mr. Nath personally escorted them back home. These narratives are a stark contrast from the feelings of the ‘Hindu’ community voiced by the BJP Councillor who claimed that the Hindus wanted to pay the Muslims back in the same coin and thus took to the streets and rioting.
- The violence was orchestrated by vested interests for political gains. The riots were not spontaneous and the mob was mobilized through machinations. While it was widely reported that there were Muslim mobs rioting from2nd July to 5th July, Hindu mob also went on a rampage on some of these days and particularly on 6th July in Bashirhat.
- The Team found that besides the derogatory post, there was another post circulating on social media which depicted a noose around Souvik Sarkar’s neck. The Police seem to be unaware of this post. However the timeline and source of posting both the pictures hold a key to unravelling any conspiracy involved.
- The BJP exploited the incidents on 2nd and 3rd July for political gains and consolidating Hindu vote banks by inviting its national leaders and MPs to visit the area with the intention of hyping up a minor riot into a national issue. The BJP leaders also tried to claim Kartik Ghosh to be their office bearer while his family denied the same. The intention was to stigmatize the Muslim community and wrongfully castigate the Trinamool Congress for its alleged appeasement of the Muslim community. Their narrative of riots conveniently ignore that Muslims also were injured during attacks by Hindu mobs.
- It is heartening to note that despite the riots, there are no ill feelings amongst members of both communities towards each other. The communities are living peacefully and interacting albeit with some caution vis-à-vis unknown people from outside their village/town. In one instance, Avinash Nath, a Congress Councillor from Ward number 13 formed peace army consisting of members of both communities and persuaded some Muslim families, which had left their homes during the riots to return. Mr. Nath personally escorted them back home.
- There has been an intelligence failure on the part of the administration when there was agitation in the minds of members of the community by the derogatory post and which was being exploited by some leaders. It is disturbing to know that the investigation still has not been able to trace the role of those who has organized and instigated the mob to indulge in senseless violence.
- The police should go into the root of who posted the derogatory post. There were two posts circulated and it may be significant to find out the timeline of this circulation. Also Souvik Sarkar’s family claimed that the post was circulated from a facebook account of Souvik which he doesn’t use and it was hacked. If there is a conspiracy to the circulation, it should be investigated into.
- The mobilization of Muslim youth on a large scale is alarming and thus efforts will have to be made by civil society organizations and the administration to ensure that youth and the public at large are not misled with fake posts or propaganda.