West Bengal: Day after Ram Navami violence, fresh clashes in Howrah; section 144 imposed in several areas

West Bengal: Day after Ram Navami violence, fresh clashes in Howrah; section 144 imposed in several areas

The commotion started on Friday afternoon with a random group seen pelting stones at vehicles and ransacking local shops despite huge deployment of police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF).

Aritra SinghaUpdated: Saturday, April 01, 2023, 10:58 AM IST
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West Bengal: Day after Ram Navami violence, fresh clashes in Howrah; section 144 imposed in several areas |

Even as fresh trouble erupted in Shibpur area in West Bengal’s Howrah district, both the Trinamool Congress and the BJP were pointing fingers at each other and sharing incriminating videos of the Ram Navami violence.

The commotion started on Friday afternoon with a random group seen pelting stones at vehicles and ransacking local shops despite huge deployment of police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF). Afraid that violence may spiral out of control, as the mob swelled, local residents, locked themselves up in their houses. Eventually, the police had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the rowdy element and impose Section 144 at several places in Shibpur and Howrah to keep a semblance of control.

TMC MLA accused BJP for violence

In the videos shared by the Trinamool Congress, some men, holding guns and other weapons, are seen diverting the ‘yatra’ to an "unauthorised route, allegedly ‘‘to target and attack one community." "The BJP was instigating violence. Videos show men carrying guns during the procession," Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee said.

"A BJP MLA goes to Delhi and then returns to Kolkata. He holds a public meeting the next day and says 'watch TV tomorrow'. The next day there are riots. Aap chronology samajhiye (understand the chronology)," said Banerjee in a barbed comment, leaving the rest to imagination.

Amit Shah called Governor CV Ananda Bose and state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar to take update on situation

The charge was hurled even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah called Governor CV Ananda Bose and state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar to take stock of the situation of the state. It is understood that the Governor will soon be visiting the riot-hit areas.

Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari has, meanwhile, filed a PIL in Calcutta High Court seeking an NIA and CBI probe into the violence and said that strict action should be taken against the ‘actual culprit, be it of any community’.

45 people arrested till now

According to ADG South Bengal Siddhi Nath Gupta, 45 alleged miscreants have been arrested so far and the investigation is on. Gupta also said that till the time of reporting the situation was under control.

As the political slugfest continued, Mamata, while talking to a local Bengali channel, also pointed at a section of the police for looking the other way when the violence erupted.

BJP MP Locket Chatterjee alleged that "Hindus in Bengal are under threat" and accused Banerjee, who is also the state's Home Minister, of appeasement politics. "It is disheartening. Such visuals emerge from Bengal at every Ram Navami and during Durga idol immersion. It is not acceptable that the lives of Hindus in Bengal are under threat. When there was violence in Howrah, Mamata Banerjee was sitting on a 30-hour dharna," she said.

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