Asansol, Mar 31: He had just learnt that his teenage son had died in violence that has gripped Asansol. Maulana Imdadul Rashidi, the Imam of a local mosque, knew the death could trigger violence. Right after his son’s burial, Rashidi urged the people to maintain peace and harmony in the city. In his emotional message, as reported on Zee, the maulana said that if he had truly served the city and the people had respect for him, they would exercise restraint. He said if there was any retaliatory action over his son’s death, he would leave the city.
Rashidi’s 16-year-old son Sibtulla had appeared for his class 10 exams. On Tuesday, he went missing right after communal clashes in the Rail Par area of Asansol. To that, the maulana said the boy stepped out on hearing some noise outside. That’s when he was apparently picked up by a mob. They didn’t hear from the boy after that. Late on Wednesday, his body was recovered which could be identified by Thursday, reports The Indian Express.
Asansol mayor Jitendra Tiwari was reported to have appreciated Rashidi’s call for peace. He said the Imam’s words would go a long way in placating angry youth of the area.
Trouble has been brewing in Asansol since Sunday, March 26, when clashes broke out between two groups during a Ram Navami procession. One person lost his life while a police personnel lost a hand. Shops were vandalised and burnt down. Internet services have remained suspended all of this week. The Centre has formed a four-member committee to probe the incident.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has been on a day-long trip of the trouble-torn area on Saturday.