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March 23, 2012

I would appeal to everyone to keep the peace and pray for peace: Chief Minister

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee issued the following appeals to maintain communal harmony throughout Bengal.

From Writers’ Buildings

We have come to know that the photograph that had appeared in The Telegraph — for which the paper has apologised — has now been deliberately distorted and circulated in order to cause communal tension.

The distorted picture is being sent through MMS and email. The conspirators who have done this want to provoke riots, they are enemies of peace, they are enemies of the country. We strongly condemn them.

We are conducting a thorough investigation to locate where these emails and MMS forwards have been sent from. We will locate and arrest the culprits.

Tomorrow being Friday, I would appeal to everyone to keep the peace and pray for peace.

Through  SMS

Some unscrupulous people are transmitting provocative and indecent photographs for hurting the religious sentiments of people and disrupting communal harmony.

The government has already started an investigation in the matter and will take strong action against those people. I appeal to all communities to frustrate the designs of those unscrupulous people and maintain peace and communal harmony.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today met the imams of major mosques in the city and sought their support for maintaining peace and communal harmony in the wake of the circulation of a photograph that led to a road blockade here on Tuesday. Banerjee, who earlier in the day said an investigation had been launched to nab those who circulated the photograph, asked the imams to appeal to their community for peace during the Friday prayers tomorrow. "Didi has informed us that an FIR has been filed and a hunt launched to nab the culprits. They will be punished. In the meantime, she has appealed to all the imams for their support in maintaining peace and law and order," Jb. Noor-ur-Rehman Barkati, Shahi Imam of the Tipu Sultan Mosque, one of the 18 imams to attend the meeting, told newsmen. The Chief Minister has appealed to the imams to appeal for peace in their speech at the Friday prayers, Barkati said, adding, "what we now need is communal harmony which is the tradition of Bengal." According to the imam Kari Fazlur Rehman, the Chief Minister had said at the meeting that the newspaper, which initially printed the photograph, has apologised. The imams present at the meeting thanked Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim and Fire Brigade Minister Jb. Javed Khan for their initiatives in organising the meeting. Minister for Industry and Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Partha Chatterjee and Panchayat Minister Mr. Subrata Mukherjee also attended the meeting.