Kolkata on Monday witnessed major protests and demonstrations by members of the Muslim community after 62 children were intercepted by the Police and sent to the State-run Child Welfare Commission’s home in Barasat. The children, intercepted by the Sealdah Station GRP because they were carrying no valid documents, were sent into custody.
The incident happened on Monday morning after the GRP intercepted the children. Upon questioning, the GRP was not satisfied with the explanations given by the children and the Maulanas accompanying them. It’s been reported that they were traveling along with a cleric from Bihar to Maharashtra. This led to demonstrations and protests in key points of the city including Rajabazar, Park Circus, Moulage and Sealdah.
Major thoroughfares in and around Sealdah were disrupted and closed during the peak hours of the day. The stretch between Moulage and Sealdah was closed in the evening after agitator pelted stones at Sealdah station along with vandalizing vehicles. North and Central Kolkata roads were blocked since Monday morning. The agitators demanded the immediate release of the children and with several rumors doing the rounds, the situation became grim. Locals from Madarasas in Rajabazar set up a road blockade.
Kolkata Police has stated that they have been trying to contact the children’s parents and will be sending them back to Bihar. The status of the detained Maulanas remain unclear as of now. Fortunately, no casualties have been reported so far.