Violence in 2 Ram Navami processions in West Bengal; 30 arrested: Police
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said not a single untoward incident took place in Bengal during Ram Navami celebrations
KOLKATA: More than 30 people were arrested for two incidents of violence during Ram Navami celebration in West Bengal on Sunday that led to injuries to 20 people including six police personnel, police said on Monday. In one incident, stones were pelted at a procession in the Shibpur area of Howrah while in the second incident, police personnel were attacked by revellers in Bankura town.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee later said not a single untoward incident took place in Bengal during Ram Navami and blamed a section of the state’s media for blowing up “minor incidents”. “So many incidents happened across India during Ram Navami. Was there a single incident in Bengal? Not even one. So many festivals are held here. Not a single incident ever takes place,” Banerjee said in her speech at the state government’s Biswa Bangla programme.
Police said in Howrah, a group of miscreants pelted stones at a Ram Navami procession moving along Grand Trunk Road in the Shibpur area. The procession was escorted by policemen and two police vehicles were leading it. Three policemen and around 20 people who were part of the procession were injured, said a police officer who did not want to be named.
“We resorted to baton charge and dispersed the troublemakers. The injured people were taken a local hospital for treatment. The rapid action force was deployed and part of the road was blocked to bring the situation under control,” the officer added.
“None of the men suffered any serious injury. The situation was quickly controlled. We have rounded up several people. The arrest figures will be compiled in the evening,” C Sudhakar, the commissioner of Howrah city police who had rushed to the spot with a huge force, told HT on Monday afternoon.
In Bankura town, stones were pelted at the police from a Ram Navami procession in the Machantala area on Sunday evening when the authorities set up barricades to stop the procession from passing through a specific neighbourhood.
“Three policemen were injured. We resorted to baton charge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the crowd. Seven revellers were arrested from the spot,” said a district police officer who did not want to be named.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union minister of state for health, Dr Subhas Sarkar, was part of the procession in Bankura which he represents in the Lok Sabha. He alleged that stones were pelted at his vehicle.
“My car was at the rear end of the procession. Trinamool Congress (TMC) backed hooligans created the trouble,” he alleged.
Local media reports said traditional sharp weapons, such as tridents and swords were spotted in some processions in Bankura, Birbhum and West Burdwan districts where both BJP and TMC leaders led the celebrations.