As West Bengal burns, we have an Asansol Imam to thank for the violence not spreading further.
Imam Imadadul Rashidi's 16-year old son Sibtulla was allegedly beaten to death by fringe elements.
However, in a remarkable show of restraint, at his son's burial, the Imam pleaded for peace. He said he would leave the town if there was retaliation for his son's death.
Do you know?
How did the incident unfold?
Sibtulla Rashidi appeared for his Class-X board exams this year. He was reported missing after communal clashes erupted in Asansol's Rail Par area on Tuesday afternoon. Reportedly, he was picked up by miscreants. His body was recovered late on Wednesday night and identified on Thursday.
What was the Imam's impassioned plea?
As thousands gathered at Sibtulla's burial, Rashidi appealed, "I want peace. My boy lived the life that Allah ordained for him. I don't want more families to lose their loved ones or houses to burn."
He added, "I have been an Imam for the last 30 years. It is important that I give the right message to the people - a message of peace."
Administration thanks the Imam for helping in restoring peace
Local officials and TMC senior leaders said Rashidi's comments will help administration in restoring peace and normalcy to the area. Former Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman even asked CM Mamata Banerjee to organize a public function to honor him and recommend a Bharat Ratna for him.
Trinamool Congress MLA of Asansol South, Tapas Banerjee however questioned the circumstances surrounding his son's death.
BJP v/s TMC
Meanwhile, political parties continued their blame game
The VHP blamed the police and administration for failing to ensure peace during and after the processions. The organizing secretary, Sachindra Narayan Sinha, claimed that they were attacked first while passing through a Muslim-dominated area. TMC has been consistently accusing BJP for communalizing Bengal.
Currently, there have been no further incidents of violence but the state government has ensured police presence and suspended Internet services.