The villagers allege the mob threw bombs at their homes before looting them, and that they finally set the houses on fire.
“Nothing is left. We are looted of all our belongings. They ransacked and vandalised our houses and eventually set them on fire. We could not save a single penny from our houses, only managed to save our children and ran for life,” said Lakshmi Mallya, a local.
Eyewitnesses claim the mob was made up mostly of outsiders, and that they had never seen them in the locality. They added that the mob also torched their shops.
“We are robbed of everything that we had. Our houses are gone, so have our shops. We do not have a single penny to even buy a meal for our family. We are in the most helpless situation. We have nowhere to go,” said Shubho Roy, a villager.
When WION visited Dhulagarh, the area in and around Banijyopol was dotted with torched houses. The entire lane leading to Banijyopol lay strewn with broken glass, shoes, and mobile phones.
While most of the villagers had fled, those left behind were seen fleeing with what they could carry -- stoves, gas cylinders, bedding. (WION)