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Asansol / Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, who paid a visit to the communal riot-hit Asansol and Raniganj towns in West Burdwan district today, has sparked off a debate by meeting BJP leaders during the trip.

The Governor reached Asansol Circuit House around 11.30 this morning and held a meeting with senior police and administrative officers taking stock of the latest law and order situation there.

During his halt at the Circuit House, two leaders of the West Burdwan district BJP called on the Governor. Tripathi held a meeting with them. The BJP leaders told reporters that they have submitted a detailed report of the riots to the Governor and have urged him to exercise his Constitutional mandate.

After this, the Governor paid a visit to some riot-hit localities in Asansol such as Chandmari, Kalyanpur, OK Road, etc. He also visited a relief camp at Kalyannagar in the town where people from a particular community has taken shelter following the riot.

Next, Tripathi went to Raniganj and visited several areas in the town from where the riots started on 25 March over a Ram Navami rally organised by RSS-BJP backed organisations. Several riot victims complained to the Governor about alleged partiality by the police and about inadequate relief measures.

Governor pacified them saying that on his return to Kolkata, he will raise the issues with the state administration.  “Whatever has happened is very unfortunate. We need to respect each other’s religion. Need to maintain peace. I have come here with the message of peace,” he said.

In Kolkata, Trinamool leader and state education minister Partha Chatterjee took a dig at the Governor for meeting the BJP leaders at Asansol. Chatterjee also alleged that the Governor has visited areas that are inhabited by a particular community while choosing to stay clear of the areas where others live.

Meanwhile, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury and CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty were stopped by police at Kalna More on National Highway-2 as they were heading to Asansol. Police stopped them citing section 144 CrPC that is in force at Asansol and Raniganj.