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Muslims raising money to help Hindus who suffered in Basirhat communal riot

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As situation improves in the riot-hit Basirhat, West Bengal, the rare camaraderie seems to be in display where violence was witnessed merely a few days ago. Despite all the efforts of the right wing organizations, the two communities are showing unprecedented restraint in trying to calm the situation on the ground.

The violence that was perpetrated by Muslims in Basirhat, in North 24-Parganas of the state is almost back to normal. The mob violence by Muslims in the wake of a social media sacrilegious post had given tough time to the administration in the region.

Photo Courtesy: HindustanTimes

Now as the tension subsides, the two communities are reaching out to diffuse tension and trying to help each other in the reconstruction work.

In the meantime, some good news is coming from Basirhat, where the Muslim mob burnt many houses, shops and damaged buses and other vehicles. While authorities round up the people behind the violence, Muslims are reaching out to Hindus whose houses were burnt or their businesses suffered due to violence.

Muslims are reportedly raising money to support the Hindus who suffered damages to their homes and business, offering whatever it costs to compensate the loss suffered by their Hindu neighbors.

An Indian Express report says that Muslims of Basirhat, that lies on India-Bangladesh border are pooling money to help Hindu neighbours rebuild their gutted shops and businesses.

Indian Express quoted Gaji, a local businessman as saying, “Even after the demolition of the Babri mosque, our town remained peaceful. What happened since Tuesday was not right. Some outsiders and some of our local boys are to blame. But now we are pooling money for our Hindu neighbours. We want them to forget the losses and start afresh”.

The report quotes one Pal as saying, “I lost goods worth over Rs 15,000 when hundreds of people came and ransacked my shop on Tuesday. They took away everything. I do not know why. My neighbours and Muslim friends are now offering me money to restart my business. I will take a decision soon”.

Like Pal, Ruma De too suffered losses during the mob violence. She too is being offered support by her neighbors in restarting her business afresh. Similar initiatives have been taken by Muslim residents of Masjidpara, Bhyabla, Chapapara and other areas of Basirhat. “We are all linked in one way or another. I have Hindu friends whom I have known from childhood, and business associates who are Hindu. We have told them that we will do our best to help them start their businesses, and even repair their damaged homes,” said Ershad Ali Gazi of Masjidpara.

While the houses were burnt by an infuriated mob, it were other Muslims who took many of their Hindu neighbors into safety and saved their lives. It was because of Ershad that his childhood friend Binay Pal and his family escaped the mob that rampaged through the neighbourhood on Tuesday night. “Everyone told me to leave my home and flee to save myself. Hundreds of people were swarming the street in front of my house. I called up Ershad, who told me to stay put and rushed to my house. He stayed with us and ensured that we were safe,” said Binay, who has a wife and two children. His pharmacy downstairs was, however, ransacked.

Now Muslims are pooling resources to help their fellow neighbors make a fresh start. Ershad says, “It is not a hollow promise. We have told local shopowners that we will give as much as it takes, Rs 2 lakh or Rs 5 lakh. We will help you, whether by pooling money or by collecting subscriptions to cover your losses. Whatever has happened has happened, do not worry anymore, or have any hard feelings. The tradition of Basirhat has been tarnished. This has never happened before”.

Source: Indian Express

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