Deganga 2010: Investigative Report of Bangladesh Minority Watch
by Rabindra Ghosh on 30 Sep 2010 7 Comments

Human Rights Violations on Hindu refugees in West Bengal, India

Case Number: Deganga 2010          

P.S. Case No. 317/10 dated 08.09

Country: INDIA

Type of Violation: Right to Property, Right to live, right to integrity, right to religion.

Type of Act: Criminal trespass, Extorting of properties, criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty, setting fire on their houses and looting, setting fire on temples.

Submitted to All International Organisations: 21st September, 2010

BDMW Contact: Advocate Rabindra Ghosh  

Investigation conducted by:– Adv. Rabindra Ghosh, Mr. R.N. Dutta, political correspondent “ABHAY BHARAT”

Date of investigation: 17th of September, 2010




The local majority Muslims of Deganga were trying to disrupt Hindu passage towards “Durga Mandap” at Chattalpally, where a number of Hindus persecuted in then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) reside, and preventing them from entering their Puja places of worship and their homes. So the area was being dug up by the Muslims to prevent them from entering the area with a view to grab the lands thereon in the name of “Muslim graveyard.”


On the morning of 6 September, some local Muslims of Chattalpally began to dig the passage leading to the Durga Mandap, claiming the spot belonged to the graveyard that lay behind the Durga Mandap. The ownership of the graveyard itself is disputed and can be traced back to the Rani Rajmoni regime. The annual Durga Puja celebrations were being held there for the last 40 years, and nobody had objected before. When Hindus objected to the digging they were attacked. When the police were informed, they tried to stop the miscreants, but were outnumbered and beaten up. The officer-in-charge Arup Ghosh suffered head injuries and a fracture in one arm. The miscreants threatened to teach the Hindus a good lesson in the evening.


Accordingly, around 8.30 p.m. in the evening. A 2000-strong mob descended upon the market areas of Deganga, Kartikpur and Beliaghata and resorted to largescale arson and violence. Shops belonging to Hindus were systematically looted, burnt, torched and destroyed. The road adjacent Hindu residences was set on fire.


On Tuesday morning, 7 Sept., violence began to escalate after a group of  armed Muslims led by Haji Nurul Islam threatened the police at the Deganga police station. The armed mobs were led by local toughs like Maqbur Rahman and Mintu Sahji. Police later clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. They opened fire and threw bombs; a Muslim youth of Falti village was accidentally shot at Beliaghata Bridge; he later succumbed to his injuries.


Thereafter, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Ashok Ray and an unidentified DSP arrived with a huge contingent of police and Rapid Action Force to quell the riots. Both DSPs were severely beaten up by the mob. Ashok Ray was rescued by the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and shifted to a nursing home. At 11 a.m., DIG (Presidency Range) Siddhinath Gupta, North 24 Parganas DSP Rahul Srivastava and DM Vinod Kumar convened an emergency meeting and sent a larger force comprising of the I.Cs and O.Cs of 15 police stations of the district accompanied by RAF. Even they failed to stop the rioters. At 1.30 p.m., SDPO (Barasat) Mehmood Akhtar promulgated section 144 CrPC. When the situation proved uncontrollable, by district police, Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Border Security Force (BSF), the state government called in the Army. By evening, two battalion entered Deganga. The tormented Hindu villagers, seeing a ray of hope, came out of their homes, crying for rehabilitation. The army only conducted a flag march along Taki Road.


Hindu temples desecrated


The armed mob desecrated and vandalized Hindu temples. The Kali temple at Deganga Biplabi Colony was desecrated and vandalized by perpetrators who arrived in trucks from Beliaghata, Sashan and Basirhat. Trinamul Congress MP Haji Nurul Islam supervised the desecration of the Kali temple. When Hindus of the locality protested they were chased by the mob armed with swords and daggers, and bombs were hurled bombs at them. They also desecrated and burnt the Kakra Mirza Nagar Kali  temple. The Shani temple of Kartikpur was vandalized by mobs which hoisted a loudspeaker at the mosque near Deganga market, violating the High Court’s  order prohibiting use of loudspeakers in religious places.


Hindus attacked in Salimpukur


On Wednesday morning, 8 Sept., an armed mob from Ramnathpur and Khejurdanga attacked Hindus in Salimpukur and Hospital area, off Taki Road. 23 houses were ransacked in Salimpukur; the victims took shelter in nearby Kartikpur. Arup Ghosh, Officer-in-Charge of Deganga police station, led a police team against the rioters and was greeted with brickbats. He was severely injured in the head and immediately hospitalized.

After the riot stopped


Sporadic incidents continued on Thursday, despite army presence. The situation calmed down on Friday though tension prevailed in the entire area. Hindus, especially women who had fled in fear of dishonour, have still not returned to their homes.We visited the places where houses and properties belonging to Hindus were looted, set on fire and temples attacked and desecrated. We spoke to more than 60 persons who returned after the attacks stopped after three days.


Visit of some political leaders 


On Thursday, a delegation of  Bharatiya Janata Party leaders led by Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra, Lok Sabha MP Uday Singh, West Bengal state BJP president Rahul Sinha, ex-president Tathagata Roy and others visited the riot-torn areas. On Friday, 10 Sept., the BJP demanded the arrest of Trinamul Congress MP Haji Nurul Islam, the main perpetrator behind the riot for instigating the communal frenzy.


The army returned to the barracks on Saturday.




Identity of victims


1)      Debashis Ghosh (Debu) son of late Sukumar Ghosh of Beliaghata

2)     Shymol Kumar Ghosh son of Sukumar Ghosh

3)     Kalachand Ghosh son of Panchanan Ghosh

4)     Sawpan Ghosh son of Krishnapada Ghosh

5)     Dilip Bijoy Mondal son of Haran Chandra Mondal

6)     Kollol Ghosh son of Becharam Ghosh

7)     Ranga Lal Baidya son of Balai Chandra Baidya

8)     Soroj Kanti Ghosh son of Kamal Kanti Ghosh

9)     Saradindu Ghosh son of Kamal Kanti Ghosh

10) Nepal Karmakar son of Anjan Karmakar

11) Sawpan Kumar Ghosh son of Panchanan Ghosh

12) Sukumar Dey son of late Satya Charan Dey

13) Sujit Ghosh son of late Meneswar Ghosh

14) Subrata Kumar Chowdhury son of late Anil Chowdhury

15) Patitosh Ghosh son of late Monmata Ghosh

16) Nirmal Karmakar son of late Sontosh Karmakar

17) Bikash Karmakar son of late Sontosh Karmakar

18) Sujit Modal son of not known

19) Dinabandhu Baidya son of late Sreedam Baidya

20) Haran Baidya son of late Rakhal Baidya

21) Prasanta Baidya (Sumitra) mother of Laksmi Baidya

22) Binoy Baidya son of late Budeswar Baidya

23) Sreedam Ghosh son of late Krishna Chandra Ghosh

24) Biswanath Ghosh son of late Krishna Chandra Ghosh

25) Ms. Haran Mukharjee wife of late Hazari Mukharjee

26) Goutam Kumar Mondal son of late Haran Mondal

27) Sawpan Baidya son of late Narayan Chandra Baidya

28) Shibnath Baidya son of late Lal Mohan Baidya

29) Tapan Ghosh son of late Ashwini Ghosh

30) Dilip Karmakar son of late Girish Karmakar

31) Bikash Ghosh son of late Proboth Ghosh

32) Shambhu Sao son of Ramshrot Sao

33) Shankar Mouth son of late Kalipada Mouth

34) Ramkrishna Sao son of late Brajanath Sao

35) Keshta Karmakar son of late Jegeswar Karmakar

36) Rabin Karmakar son Shirish Karmakar

37) Govinda Karmakar son of late Sontoosh Karmakar

38) Gouranga Banarjee son of Monoranjan Banarjee

39) Arun Ghosh son of Haren Ghosh

40)Ashoke Ghosh son of late Subal Ghosh

41) Bhola Ghosh son of late Aswani Ghosh

42) Prodiwp Ghosh son of late Jiban Krishna Ghosh

43) Ms.Lakshimi Ghosh wife of late Jugal Ghosh

44)Kartik Ghosh son of late Krishna Chandra Ghosh

45) Kartick Ghosh son of Krishna Chandra Ghosh

46) Shymol Ghosh son of late Kenaram Ghosh

47) Montu Ghosh son of late Anil Ghosh

48) Shankar Ghosh son of late Ganesh Ghosh

49) Pijush Kanti Ghosh son of late Haripada Ghosh

50) Ganesh Karmakar son of late Bijoy Karmakar

51) Narayan Ghosh son of Monnatha Ghosh

52) Ms. Laksmi Rani Ghosh wife of late Binoy Ghosh

53) Haradhan Ghosh son of late Anil Ghosh

54) Tarun Ghosh son of late Ashwani Ghosh

55) Ms. Menaka Ghosh son of Subal Ghosh

56) Sushil Ghosh son of late Krishna Chandra Ghosh

57) Tarapada Ghosh son of late Krishnapada Ghosh

58) Ashim Chowdhury son of Anil Chowdhury

59) Biswanath Dey son of late Satyacharan Dey

60) Shambhu Nath Dey son of late Satyacharan Dey.


Age at time of event:  Multiple

Under 18:  NO

Citizenship: Indian 

Religion: Hindu

Home address:  Beliaghata Bridge, P.S. and Block Deganga, Barasat, District North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India

Consent: YES


Date and place of event


Date: 06.09.2010, 07.09.2010 and 08.09.2010 

Location:  Village and Post office: Beliaghata Bridge, in different parts of the area within Deganga Police station, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India (multiple locations)


Alleged perpetrator(s)


-        Haji Nurul Islam, local Member of Parliament, Trinamool Congress of Ms. Mamata Banerjee, and nearly thousand hoodlums


Legal status


More than 60 victims lodged First Information Reports (FIR) claiming recovery of their looted articles and compensation before Deganga police station [Deganga P.S. case No. 317 of 2010 dated 08.09.2010].


Deganga Police took the case but they did not mention in which section of the law the cases have been registered. Most victims lodged FIRs mentioning their looted commodities and could not mention the names of the perpetrators, but only said that Muslim perpetrators attacked, set on fire, and looted their belongings; cost of the belongings approximately total around Rs 2 to 3 billion.


Police also arrested some Hindus who wanted to stage demonstrations on the street at Barasat on 18 Sept., 2010 on ground of destroying public properties. No perpetrator has yet been arrested by police obviously due to political pressure from Trinamool Congress leaders.


Case Summary


During our fact-finding investigation, some victims gave us to understand that on 6 Sept., at about 7.30 p.m. they saw a truck [No. WB-25B-8229] ferrying Shafique, Alauddin, Arab, Farid,  Fazlu, Afzal, Mohammad Yakub and over 100 others from Hasia and Dogachia village, armed with iron rods and countrymade axes, who attacked them and started looting the merchandise of Hindu businessmen (Lakhi Kanta Ghosh, Sujit Kumar Ghosh, Sujit Mondal of Mondal Electronics) and set the houses and shops on fire.


Because of this rioting, the victims had to flee and take shelter in more distant areas. Mr. Sujit Mondal (Cell No. 9153702960) and his wife burst into tears, saying they came to India for safety and security of their lives (after Partition), so why have thye been attacked and their houses set on fire? They also gave the Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW) a written appeal praying for necessary steps for their protection and for compensation of losses caused by the communal attack.

BDMW also received a four-page list containing the names of sixy affected victims who sustained irreprable loss of properties amounting to Rs one billion. BDMW received copies of twenty five FIRs lodged by victims at Beliaghata Bridge of Deganga P.S., detailing a volume of lost articles and belongings amounting to Indian rupees one billion. Mr. Subrata Kumar Chowdhury (Cell No. 9732787227) said he has been rendered totally homeless and all his life earnings looted and his establishment, “Joyguru Dasakarma Bhandar” destroyed.


Debashish Ghosh Debu at Beliaghata stated “during communal attack I, myself, my wife and children were within the building, but the attackers blasted a bomb in front of our door and as a result the iron door was broken and the hoodlums started to loot  TV set, furniture, gold ornaments, cash, breaking steel almirah and set fire to the remaining goods available with us.” They also beat up the children as they tried to intervene.”

We had also visited Kartikpur Bazar, Khejuridanga and Beliaghata where we found the scene of atrocities and sign of communal destruction, even the day labour was not spared from their communal atrocities. We had also visited the house of Ms. Kabita Baidya (Cell No. 9734841728) a Panchayat member (TMC member of Beliaghata) who stated that  the perpetrators after extensive looting and arson tried to set petrol for killing on Ranga Lal Baidya, Kabita Baidya, Prasanna Baidya, and Ratul Baidya, but on request those perpetrators let them free after physical assault. Ms. Kabita also mentioned that due to religious sentiment the perpetrators attacked Hindus to grab properties in particular.


We visited the shop of Sukumar Dey (Cell No. 9732970364) who informed us that his TV and Electronnic shop was looted and all his TV and electronic materials looted by four assailants. His loss amounted to Indian Rs 3,50,000/-. We found Sujit Kumar Ghosh (Cell No. 9932382598) who stated that he lost articles amounting to Indian Rs 4,00,000/- due to communal frenzy. We went to the house of Bikash Karmakar and found no one there as a false case was filed against him for killing a Muslim boy, though we learnt that this boy was injured by RAF bullets when stopping the riots. But the Officer in Charge of Deganga police illegallly filed a case under section 302 of IPC against Bikash. We visited the place where the police vehicle was set on fire and police officer physically assaulted on the road by Muslim rioters on 7 Sept. 2010. We found burned trees set on fire while the perpetrators and police were fighting.




Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW) and Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD) jointly investigated the matter on 17 Sept. 2010 on the prayer of some of the victims of persecution.


We on behalf of GHRD visited Deganga Police station at 24 Parganas where we met with Mr. Mahamud Akhtar, sub-divisional police officer (Barasat) at about 2 p.m. and requested him to let us know the present status of the cases filed by Hindu victims at the police station after being religiously affected by Muslim perpetrators.


Mr. Mahamud cleverly avoided us saying that without permission of the District Magistrate he can not talk to us. We tried to talk to the District Magistrate but his telephone was switched off. We requested Mr. Mahamud for protection for the human rights defenders during our investigation at the sites, but he refused to give us protection saying: “You can go there without any permission or protection, we cannot do anything for anybody’s protection and security, it is your responsibility to find out the truth.”


He questioned how a human rights organization from another country can investigate a matter relating to India?  He asked us to communicate with his superior Superintendent of Police (Cell No.9800100100). We communicated with the Superintendent of Police at his cell number and found he was very annoyed with us for our investigation. We tried to take a photograph of our meeting with Mr. Mahamud but he did not allow us to take a photograph, so we took a picture of Deganga police station.


We contacted the West Bengal Minister for Home but he refused to talk to us. We met leaders of the Hindu Muslim Friendship Association at Kolkata on 19 Sept. at their office at Bou Bazar, Kolkata, who informed us that they had not read anything about such rioting in the newspapers. We urged them to visit the riot-stricken areas of Deganga and extend the necessary help. We observed that no initiative has yet been taken by the West Bengal Communist regime now in power, most probably for political reasons, and till date no government assistance has been given to the victims.


We condemn this communal attack on the innocent Hindus of Deganga and demand an impartial enquiry into the matter and the setting up of an Enquiry Committee headed by a retired High Court judge, and demand compensation to the victims as per list deposited at the police stations. We have ample evidence of a communal attack only on Hindus, initiated by the local Member of Parliament Haji Nurul Islam, of the Trinamool Congress.


Documents and newspaper clippings are enclosed along with pictures of our investigation, copy of FIRs and other documents.


21 September 2010


The author is an advocate and president, Bangladesh Minority Watch

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