ENRAGED villagers, mainly women, ransacked and partially set ablaze the house of an NGO worker in West Bengal’s Mallarpur village on Wednesday, mistaking her as National Register of Citizens (NRC) enumerator.
The angry women partially set ablaze Hasnebanu Biwi’s house and also vandalised it. Hasnebanu was part of an internet campaign called ‘Internet Sathi’ and was trying to teach the basics of internet to the rural women.
Hasnebanu Biwi worked in an NGO in Mallarpur and had collected data and documents from the women of the village a few months back, ahead of educating them about internet operation on their smartphones. It was a part of ‘Internet Sathi’ project of the NGO. She had also taken photographs of the women while enrolling them for the project.
As fear of the implementation of NRC, CAA and NPR spread across the state last month and as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had warned the people of the state not to share any data with anyone, the women became furious on the NGO worker, doubting that she collected data for NRC.
The group of women went to her house on Tuesday evening and questioned her repeatedly about the reason behind collection of data. When Hasebanu failed to provide proper explanation, the villagers thought it was collected for NRC.
The angry villagers then gheraoed Hasnebanu’s house on Tuesday night and then ransacked it on Wednesday morning. They also demanded her arrest and blocked the road for two hours.
Eyewitnesses said that the angry villagers hurled brickbats and drove away police who tried to rescue the woman on Tuesday night.
Police, however, said the woman was an NGO worker and she had no links with NRC or NPR. “Recent panic over the CAA and the NRC made the villagers violent. We rescued the woman and her family members to safe custody,” police said.