West Bengal's Baduria and Basirhat made headlines only a month ago because of violent communal clashes that killed one man, over a Facebook post. Fake news surrounding the clashes had social media abuzz, with the police even arresting those for posting fake images, claiming violence by the minority community there.
A month later, the administration seems to be trying to set things right by planning big celebrations for Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan to spread communal harmony.
The Indian Express reports that Bangla Sanskriti Manch are urging Hindus and Muslims to tie rakhis to each other to spread the message of unity.
The report quoted Samirul Islam, president of the organisation, as saying, "From Dhulagarh to the village in Birbhum where Muslims had prevented Hindus from organising Durga Puja, we have always visited areas that had witnessed communal tension to spread the message of peace and communal harmony. In light of the recent communal violence in Basirhat, we will organise a Raksha Bandhan festival there. It will be organised in the affected areas."
The celebrations are perhaps a reminder of how poet Rabindranath Tagore had urged the Hindus and Muslims of Bengal to tie rakhis to each other to spread the feeling of brotherhood during the partition of Bengal in 1905.
Not just the Bangla Sanskriti Manch, the administration along with elected legislators are also planning big celebrations for Rakhi and Independence day.
The Hindustan Times reports that the civic body in Basirhat and an TMC MLA Dipendu Biswas will arrange for Raksha Bandhan celebrations.
The report also says that Muslim leaders in the area are planning Independence Day celebrations too.
Biswas told the newspaper, "The Basirhat municipality has always celebrated Raksha Bandhan, but this time it will be a big event focusing on localities with a mixed population. I will organise a similar event as well."
On the evening of July 4, mobs torched vehicles and government offices over the controversial Facebook post. Section 144 had to be imposed in the area by July 5 to contain the violence. The Centre had to rush more than 400 paramilitary personnel to the area to help out local forces to normalise the situation.
Internet services had also been shut because the flare up was caused by something posted on social media.
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