A large number of prominent Muslim citizens of Kolkata have written an open letter to the chief minister Mamata Banerjee where they have pleaded with her not to go soft on criminals from their community who are creating disturbances in their state. They said that this creates a negative impact and the general impression that is being formed is that the government is unwilling to prosecute criminals belonging to the community. They say this creates resentment among other communities and a backlash is possible, leading to ugly consequences.
The immediate trigger for writing such a letter was the incident that happened with model and actor Ushoshi Sengupta. Ushoshi was returning from work when her app cab brushed against a bike. The car was immediately surrounded by 3 bikes (which later swelled to 7/8) and the bikers started abusing and hitting the driver. The actor intervened and asked them to let it go. But they then turned their attention to her. She tried to complain to the police (the police station was just across the road) but they refused citing jurisdiction. By the time the police arrived, the bikers had escaped.
Then, earlier in the month there was the incident at the NRS Hospital when a septuagenarian Muslim patient had died and relatives and friends had beaten up the junior doctors on duty. That had created a huge crisis in the state as medical services came to a halt after the doctors went on strike. People perceived that when Mamata Banerjee came and scolded the doctors, she was trying to shield the criminals and supporting mob justice.
These two incidents have created a negative image, both for the government and the Muslim community. The letter by prominent Muslims must be seen against the backdrop of these two incidents. The Muslim community is rightly worried that if criminals from the community are given a free run and treated with kid gloves then they will become ferocious. Further, other communities will resent the special treatment being given to them. Then the backlash will engulf peaceful members of the community too. They are worried and the government should also be similarly worried and take their apprehensions seriously.