Report on Kaligram Muharrum riot, October 2016

Kaligram, culturally rich and educated village in Bengal has not known a peaceful Durga puja for at least three decades.

The report has been prepared using eye-witness accounts by social worker and technologist Bhaswar Goswami, who hails from Kaligram village and is currently working in Bengaluru.

Durga Puja is a time for celebration, Aradhana of ‘Naari Sakti’ and a way to worship mata for the emancipation of the individuals and the upliftment of the society in Bengal. It is a time when every household buys new cloths, gifts them to family and friends and celebrate the occasion with full merriment everywhere in rural and urban Bengal. But, the same is not true for the villagers of Kaligram, which is about 75 kilometers from the town of Malda in Bengal (location on the map).

This culturally rich and educated village has not known a peaceful Durga puja for at least three decades. Every year, Durga puja is accompanied by the horrors of Muslim oppression and aggression committed in the name of Muharrum celebration. This is especially true when both the festivals fall on the same day or close to each other. Each time, the Muslim procession used to cross this Hindu village, it wreaked havoc in the otherwise peaceful village. In 2015, the village saw gruesome Muslim violence [Read here]. This year the same has repeated again.

Even before the Puja started, as the villagers of Kaligram prepared with joy and devotion for the celebration, there was a fear among the Hindu households about the possibility of Muslim disruption and the flare up of communal tension, since Muharrum coincided with Durga Puja. Local administration had issued multiple discriminatory orders like ‘Hindus cannot play music while Muharrum is underway’, ‘immersion of Durga Idols cannot be done as per practice on certain days’, etc. These orders, though discriminatory were silently accepted by the Hindu villagers in order to maintain communal harmony. Yet, despite this compromise by the local Hindu community, Muslim mob attacked the village on the evening of October 14 and inflicted huge damage to Hindu lives and property.

Here is a chronological account of the incidence:

  • 13th October, night around 9 PM: Hindus were busy taking their Durga Idol immersion procession through the village, as per Police guidance. Same night Muslims were celebrating what they call ‘Basi karbala’, a specific type of violent celebration for Muharrum practiced in Bengal.
  • 13th October, night around 10 PM: While immersion procession was passing through the village as per prior schedule, Hindus got to know that local police led by IC Chanchal PS, had diverted ‘Basi karbala’ procession with thousands of Muslims brandishing swords, lathis and other sharp weapons. This was a clear deviation from the 24 years old court settlement that mandated no ‘Basi karbala’ procession to be allowed to pass through the village for ensuring safety and security of the Hindu life.
  • 13th October, night around 11 PM: Hindus protested to the police and in return got flak from the IC Police. Moreover, Hindu women were insulted by the police administration.
  • 14th October, early morning around 12 AM: Fearing the dire consequences of ‘Basi karbala’ procession passing through the village, Hindus decided to block the road by keeping Durga Idol and not to carry on with the immersion. This made the Muslims to change their mind and divert the ‘Basi karbala’ procession through outer roads.
  • 14th October, early morning, around 4 AM: Malda police administration reached Kaligram with armed police and forced the villagers to take the Durga Idol for immersion. Villagers agreed.
  • 14th October, early morning, around 5 AM: While most of the villagers were busy doing the immersion of their mata with heavy heart, police asked 8 Hindu youth leaders (Ratan Das, Siddharta Nandi, Suman Guha, Manish Sarkar, Gopesh Sarkar, Ajit Pramanik, Ramkrishna Das, and Advocate Himadri Das) to accompany them to police station Chanchal in order to have some discussion. After taking them to the police station, all were arrested, though they had committed no wrongs.
  • 14th October, morning, around 7 AM: News about the arrest of the either people spread through the Village men and women decided to do ‘gherao’ of Chanchal police station in protest of the arrest.
  • 14th October, evening, around 5 PM: Finally, giving in to the demands of the villagers SDPO apologized to the people and released the arrested eight Hindu youth leaders without any condition.
  • 14th October, night, around 10 PM: Muslim mob gathered around the village with country made bombs, pistols, pipe guns, swords, lathis and other ammunitions, and started to loot and burn the houses. Rapid Action Force (RAF), which was deployed at the place came under attack as well. Two Police personnel got severely injured and the RAF men ran away leaving the villagers completely unguarded. Villagers called up Malda District administration in desperation, but the calls were unanswered.
  • 15th October, around 5 PM: District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police and other officials from the administration reached Kaligram with huge police force, but by then, the mob, which had already inflicted heavy damage to the Hindu property and human life, had run away. Around 50 houses looted and burnt to ashes. Two cars and one truck were also burnt. One jewelry shop & two grocery shops were looted. Cattles were taken away. Hindu women were molested. Three Hindu temples were vandalized beyond repair and their idols Hundreds of Hindus were left homeless and lost their life savings.

Now, that the Section 144 has been imposed by the administration and the central armed forces are patrolling the village, there is a temporary relief to the Hindu villagers. In the last five days, a bustling village has turned into a riot hit desert, with hundreds becoming homeless, including children and many infants, who are now living in other’s homes and consuming community food. No relief or compensation has been provided by the administration till now.

Villagers are running pillars to post in order to file FIRs and looking for ways to bring the issue to the attention of the entire nation, while there are attempts in the local media to suppress the incident in the name of maintaining communal harmony and the administration has chosen to remain a mute spectator.

Here are three video clips showing the damage to Hindu property in the attacks.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3


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  • Saurav

    This is what happens if hindus do not unite and vote for jihadi didi. Muslims unite and vote as a block. Hindus should do the same.

  • Jitendra Desai

    Mamata has been elected by Hindu votes.Hindus in WB have been aware of these atrocities on them and yet keep voting for anti Hindu parties.

  • Ankush

    We know what MSM is. The question to be raised is – what is our PM doing? What is our supposedly ruling Hindu party doing? What is the bhakt-mandali doing?

  • Girish Jois

    VHP need to get active on this !

  • There is a complete blackout in local media. It is solely due to the work of people like Tapan Ghosh, Raja Debnath and others that we get any information via social media. BJP in WB is corrupt and run by some scoundrels, who are only here to line their pockets – they are useless.

    For non-Bengalis, we are one people – but there are different strands of Hindu Bengalis, with varying degrees of dhimmitude, Hindu hatred and ignorance.

    1. East Bengalis (Bangaals) in Kolkata – They are the majority of Hindu Bengalis today and include people like Mamta Begum, Buddhadeb (ex-CM) and Jyoti Basu (ex-ex CM). They are those who or whose ancestors were killed, massacred or kicked out by Islamists in Bangladesh/ east Pakistan. They are dhimmis, communists or trinamool and support “secularism”. Suffering from a strange from of Stockholm syndrome, they are the ones who allowed illegal immigration of Islamists from Bangladesh into West Bengal and converted it into Waste Bengal, and are vehemently mulla supporters. Most of them are out and out dhimmis, lazy and argumentative, beef-lovers, and Hindu haters – its easy to spot them in real life as well as social media. OTOH some of the biggest opponents of militant Islam today come from this community.

    2. West Bengalis (ghotis) in Kolkata and suburbs – They are minorities in terms of numbers and are original inhabitants of Western part of Bengal (my community) and have produced people like Swami Vivekananda, Sri Sri Ramkrishna, Syamaprasad Mookerjea. They are generally not dhimmis or Hindu haters. But today they are lazy and argumentative. They are ignorant fools, morons who dont care about Hinduism, suffer from serious inferiority complex and seriously believe that all religions are same, that Islam is a religion of peace, that Jesus is an avatar of Krishna and that communism is about removing poverty – mostly cpm supporters recently some tmc supporters. I have gotten tired of arguing with my family members and friends who demand prove and argue when I say that all Islamists are terrorists or that Abrahamic monotheism breeds terrorism.

    3. Bengalis in suburbs and villages, and non-upper caste Bengalis – Ghoti or Bangal, irrespective, they are reasonable and rational people – pro-Hindu and realize what is happening, and also realize that they were taken for a ride by CPM and esp TMC. It is from them that any resistance to Islamism is coming, and they can give as good as they get. The only thing they lack is political support.

    Some other eye-opening stats:

    1. Officially 70% of WB is Hindu and 30% Muslims – Hindu Bengalis are only 59% of WB.

    2. Officially 8% of BD is Hindu and 92% Muslims.

    3. Out of 10 Bengalis (WB + BD), only 3 are Hindus and 7 are Muslims (just as out of 10 Punjabis, 8 are Muslims, 1 is Sikh and 1 is Hindu)

    4. Hindu Bengalis in WB will become a minority by 2050 (as per my estimates based on last 100 years census data).

    5. Today Bengali Brahmins and kayasthas (upper castes) in Kolkata and suburbs are a curse and a blot on Hinduism – the largest number of Hindu haters and meat/ beef eaters belong to these communities – rather than protecting dharma, they openly denigrate Hinduism and give Bengali Hindus a bad name.

    • Jitendra Desai

      Made a very painful reading.Organisations like RSS are trying to unite all Hindus.Here you have the case of Bengalee Hindus themselves choosing to divide themselves further.But there are many who believe that eastern India will witness the start of Hindu awakening from Bengal.let us hope it happens soon.

      • Agreed it is painful. This division of Bengalis is very old and at the root of most issues that we see today. Bengali Hindus today are in terms of demographics trend same as what Kahsmir was say 100-150 years ago – the relentless march of demographic change is inevitable. Today only 30% of all Bengalis (in WB and BD together) are Hindus – same as Kashmir 150 years ago, and like Kashmiris, the Hindus are in complete denial mode. And we know what happened to Kashmiri Hindus once they became 10%.

        If any renaissance happens, it will happen in villages and towns – and esp from border areas and among non-upper castes. Upper castes have been brainwashed by a rotten education system and leftist media into believing that Hinduism is bad, secularism is good and religious freedom applies only to Muslims.

        I have talked more on this is my personal website – on why most Bengalis today are (or are at least perceived as) anti-Hindu and anti-national.

        • Jitendra Desai

          Thank you Subhodeep for your reply.Will also visit your blog when free.Young persons like you should not loose heart.A people who could produce Swami Vivekananda,Maharshi Aurobindo,Rabindranath Tagore,Netaji Bose and galaxy of revolutionaries can not suddenly go barren and impotent.Less than 10,000 Turks and Mongols ruled over us for 1000 years.Less than 5000 British could rule over us for 200 years.So the numbers may not matter! There are 160 crore Muslims on this planet but most of them are fighting among themselves.Compare this to 100 crore Hindus who do lament their lack of unity and strength but are not killing each other.

    • Savarkar’s Disciple

      Daroon Analysis korecho very accurate I wished there were more Hindu Bongs like us but unfortunately there aren’t…btw how is ur book doing on Kindle ?…Being an East Bengali Hindu I completely agree with your unbiased views….Since your well read on Islamic History I would appreciate if you could take out sometime & answer this question….To malign Hinduism Brahmins have been targeted whereas we both know that the Brahmins hardly have a stranglehold over the Hindu society whereas the Ashrafs have a hegemony over the Muslim society be it financial or intellectual and until we are able to destroy Ashrafism in India we cant stop this JIHAD.Do you agree?..heres the link to one of my comments and discussion with Indiannotamused if you have the time please go through it…if you have something to add to it please do so…Thanks anyways also loved your blog..

      • Thank you for the appreciation. I’ll go through the discussion link you shared. Thanks!

  • Sadanand Bhat

    No information on this in any MSM. What else do you expect from them when Hindus are the victims?

  • LOL. yes, you read it right I indeed wrote LOL. A Bengali dhimmi I am engaged in a debate with said what a load of bullshit this above news as the muslims are innocent here. The Hindus celebrate the Hindu Durga Pooja knowing well enough that it hurts the muslim sentinments so it was only natural for muslims to vandalize and destroy Hindu property.

    If this is how the Bengali dhimmis think then my only advice to those Bengali dhimmis who suffer daily violence at the hands of muslims is hold on to your secularism and dont fall off the path set by the Great Indian Revolutionists and Freedom Fighters like Ram Mohan Roy and Gandhi before you because eventually the muslims will have to yield to your secularism.

    Ohh, dont forget to sing Eeshwar allah tero naam and prostrate yourself before the dargahs/mosques

  • Rama

    Hindus are bloody cowards. Nothing works better against Islamic /Christian aggression than simple and effective mass retaliation. For that to happen, you need cooperation of the surrounding Hindu villages and the Hindu community in general. Which is not going to happen any time soon. So, Hindus who elected this Mamta monster , DESERVE, this sort of drubbing from Islamists. If you have not learned any lesson in the last 3 decades, then you will never learn it.