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240 Arrested Over Prophet Row Violence, Bengal Govt Tells Calcutta HC

West Bengal government on Wednesday afternoon submitted to the Calcutta High Court a report on action taken by it on the incidents of violence in different parts of the state following the controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad.

In the report, which was submitted by state advocate general S.N. Mookerjee to the division bench of the Calcutta High Court comprising Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj, it was stated that altogether there had been 240 arrests in connection with the violence. Of the arrests, the maximum number had been from Howrah district where the total number is 99. The state government also stated that there were no fresh reports of violence from anywhere in the state for the last 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the same division bench on Wednesday reserved its order on a PIL demanding deployment of central armed forces in the trouble-prone areas in the state as well as a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the matter. The petitioners argued that since the protests in pockets of West Bengal were “pre-planned”, there should be a probe by the NIA to unearth all the facts behind this violence.

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The division bench while reserving its order on a NIA investigation and central armed forces deployment, observed that it is for the state government to decide whether they require the deployment of central armed forces or not.

The PIL also observed that although there was use of bulldozers in some other states, in West Bengal they do not want a replication of that and instead want all actions as per law.

The division bench said that good sense should prevail among the people irrespective of religion and everyone must come forward to maintain communal harmony.





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