“Unofficial” data collection on CAA, NRC in Bengal creates panic, police complaints filed

A shop owner in Habra of South 24 Parganas lodged a complaint with the police against some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers alleging that they harassed him physically and verbally on Wednesday when he refused to show them documents as proof of his citizenship.
Nirmal Karmakar, who runs a gold jewellery shop in Habra Market, said that about 15 BJP workers entred his shop and asked him for relevant documents. Karmakar said that he refused to do so and instead asked them to show their identity proof to him, following which they started verbally abusing him. A scuffle broke out soon between them and Karmakar was allegedly hurt by them. The entire incident was caught in CCTV in his shop, he said. A first information report (FIR) was lodged by him with Habra police later.
The BJP workers however refuted the accusations and said that they were conducting an information campaign on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the market and distributing leaflets on it. The shopkeeper refused to take the leaflet, threw it away and badmouthed them, the BJP workers said.
In another incident, a group of parents barged into a school in Howrah’s Andul on Wednesday as they suspected the school authorities were collecting data on National Register of Citizens (NRC).
They said that a local voluntary organisation was collecting names and other details from the students for the past three weeks through some forms. The angry parents allegedly destroyed some properties inside the school and police had to step in to bring the situation under control.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said in her recent rallies and meetings that the BJP workers and some organisations working for BJP were asking for such information. She has been asking people not to disclose any documents related to their proof of identity to such “unofficial” surveys.
[Image representational]

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