WB: Clashes during Ram Navami procession in Hooghly; prohibitory orders imposed

WB: Clashes during Ram Navami procession in Hooghly; prohibitory orders imposed

Clashes broke out between two groups during a Ram Navami procession in West Bengal’s Hooghly district on Sunday evening (April 2), following which prohibitory orders were imposed and the internet was suspended, police said.

Two Ram Navami processions were organised in the Rishra police station area, and the second one was attacked near Wellington Jute Mill More at GT Road around 6.15 pm, they said. A few police personnel were injured in the violence, they added.

Stones hurled at the procession

BJP vice-president Dilip Ghosh, who was in the procession that was attacked, told PTI that people were walking peacefully to the Jagannath temple in Mahesh when stones were hurled at it.

Pursurah BJP MLA Biman Ghosh was injured in the violence, he said.

A senior officer of the Chandannagar Police Commissionerate said, “Medinipur MP Dilip Ghosh and Pursurah MLA Biman Ghosh were present in the procession that was attacked. It was going through the traditional route when a group started throwing stones at it. We took immediate steps to address the situation.”

Also read: Days after Ram Navami clash, fresh violence erupts during BJP procession in Bengal

“Arrests are yet to be made in connection with the violence. Quick action was taken by the police and the situation is now under control,” she said.

“A heavy police deployment has been made in the area to prevent any further flare-up,” the officer said.

Prohibitory orders imposed, internet services suspended in a few wards

“Police are doing route march, and prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 have been imposed in Rishra wards 1-5 and Serampore’s ward 24. Internet services will remain suspended in parts of Rishra and Serampore till 10 pm on Monday (April 3),” she said.

BJP’s Ghosh said there were many women and children in the procession that was attacked.

“Suddenly, stones were hurled at us from one side of the road. Several policemen were also injured in the stone-pelting even though I and some other leaders were rescued and taken out of the area through adjacent lanes,” he said.

“Police managed to chase away the trouble-makers after being silent spectators for a while,” he alleged.

Miscreants will be crushed with an iron hand: Governor

Governor CV Ananda Bose, who is at present in Darjeeling, said those behind the violence would be “booked tonight itself and put behind bars”.

“The miscreants, the hooligans, and the thugs will be crushed with an iron hand. They will be made to curse the day they were born. Mobocracy cannot derail democracy. We are determined, the state is determined to put an end to this arson and looting,” he said.

Also read: Howrah’s Kazipara, Shibpur limp back to normalcy after Ram Navami clashes

“The lawbreakers and their abettors will soon realise they are playing with fire. Reinforcement of forces has already rushed to the spot. The culprits will be booked tonight itself and put behind bars,” he added.

Bose said this kind of hooliganism, which thwarts the democratic processes, will be “coffined”.

Industry minister accuses BJP of destroying state’s peace

Condemning the violence, state Industry Minister Shashi Panja alleged the BJP was indulging in the destruction of peace and tranquility of the state. “BJP is known for vandalism of public property, and triggering communal riots all over the country,” she alleged.

Panja said the rally which was attacked was being led by Dilip Ghosh, “who is known for his provocative statements”. “The state government will firmly deal with the situation and take necessary action to punish the perpetrators,” she said.

TMC questions need for procession two days after Ram Navami

TMC spokesperson Joyprakash Majumdar questioned the need to organise the procession two days after Ram Navami.

“Why are they so bent on taking out Ram Navami processions during the holy month of Ramzan? Why was the Ram Navami rally taken out two days later? The BJP wants to engineer riots in Bengal to create instability for political gains,” he told PTI.

Also read: Bengal: Weaponising Ram Navami to suit politics of right wing

“The BJP was trying to foment trouble by taking religious processions to certain sensitive pockets,” he alleged, claiming that it was creating such a situation to demand President’s rule in the state.

Majumdar also claimed that those in the rally were carrying weapons such as swords, which created panic among the people.

Violence during Ram Navami celebrations rocked parts of neighbouring Howrah district on Thursday (March 30) and Friday (March 31). Over 45 people were arrested, prohibitory orders were imposed, and the internet was suspended to bring the situation under control.

(With agency inputs)

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