Fresh communal clashes reported on Monday from Murshidabad and Burdwan during Ram Navami processions, claimed a life in Raiganj and an attack on a police station by the TMC miscreants who entered in the procession in disguise.
The fallout of Ram Navami processions in West Bengal rocked Raniganj, 200 km northwest of Kolkata on Monday as communal clashes erupted leaving a VHP supporter dead and six policemen injured while the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition BJP continued to trade charges.
Deputy commissioner of Asansol Durgapur, Arindam Dutta Choudhury sustained serious injuries in his right hand when a bomb was thrown at him in Raniganj in West Burdwan district. He was rushed to a hospital for surgery. Doctors said the police officer suffered multiple fractures and critical muscle injury in his right forearm.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) south Bengal general secretary Jishu Basu said in the evening that Chhote Yadav, 35, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad worker was killed in the clash. The police, however, did not confirm the death.
Ranigunj mayor and Trinamool leader Jitendra Tiwari said some groups were spreading rumours and appealed for calm. “Please don’t believe whatever people tell you. Apply your judgement. The administration is trying its best to control the situation,” Tiwari said.
Five other policemen were also injured when they were attacked as they rushed to break up a fight. Police vehicles were damaged in the clash. Fire engines had to be deployed after several shops were set ablaze.
“The situation in now under control. Policemen were attacked when they rushed to the spot to control the situation,” said Laxmi Narayan Meena, police commissioner of Asansol Durgapur.
Hindutva groups insist that they were attacked first.
“A clash broke out when Muslims attacked the procession organised by Bajrang Dal and associate groups on Monday morning. Bombs and stones were hurled at us in front of Police contingents,” alleged Sourish Mukherjee, spokesperson of the VHP.
“We were attacked by another community in the morning. Police was mere spectator to intensify the attacks on Hindu processionists. The situation is still tense,” said Manish Sharma, a BJP leader of Raniganj.
Both Mukherjee and Sharma told HENB that Police were as if ready to attack the Hindu participants in Ram Navmi with a pre-plan to provoke against Ram Navmi rallies.
While Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked the police to strictly deal with those who were trying to create mischief, CPI (M) state secretary Suryakanta Mishra alleged the ruling Trinamool Congress was responsible for ushering in competitive communalism in the state.
Clashes also broke out between the police and Hindutva supporters in Kandi of Murshidabad district where police caned a group of people in a procession after they attacked the Kandi police station with bricks and stones around 10 am.
The procession started at 8:30 am from a spot in front of a Radha Govinda temple in Kandi and proceeded through the town before it reached the police station about 90 minutes later.
“Our procession started from the Radha Govinda temple. We had taken permission for it. But on the way some Trinamool supporters carrying weapons entered the procession and when the rally reached a point in front of the police station, they began throwing stones, triggering caning by the police. Four of our supporters had to be hospitalised and 50 others were injured,” claimed Iman Kalyan Mukherjee, a local BJP leader.
Local Trinamool MLA Apurba Sarkar said no Trinamool supporters were involved in the procession.
The sub divisional police officer of Kandi also said that there was no permission was taken for the procession.
“The administration should take action if there is trouble. But how did police fail to anticipate violence? What were they doing when the procession that had taken permission was attacked (in Kandi)?” remarked state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.
On Sunday S K Sajahan, 50, was killed and five others injured+ in a clash between police and Bajrang Dal activists in Purulia district over an armed procession.
The violence in Kakinara (North 24 Parganas) erupted on Monday when a Ram Navmi Procession was challenged by the Muslims of the area. Shots were reportedly fired in the ensuing violence. A balloon seller, identified as Mohammad Maqsood Hussain, was shot dead in the crossfire.
All the four major clashes reported so far in Arsha of Purulia, Kandi in Murshidabad, Kankinara of North 24 Parganas and Raniganj of Burdwan caused by the police for stopping or diversifying the peaceful Ram Navmi processions. The local people are saying that Police were engaged to foment the Muslims of the area to give a blame to the Hindu organizers of the Ram Navmi processions.
It’s an irony that the same Police always help to carry the arms in the Muharam processions, even going through the Hindu areas without any blockade; but the WB Police under CM Mamata Banerjee went against Ram Navmi processions with arms and traditional rituals.
On Monday in the South 24 Pgs Administrative meeting held in Bharat Sevasharm Sangha Hospital Conference Hall at Pailan, CM Mamata Banerjee clearly instructed the Police to take strong actions against+ the participants and leaders of Armed Ram Navmi Rallies.
Consequently, Police registered FIR against Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh and BJP Women Wing President Locket Chatterjee+ over rallies with arms in Ram Navami. Sources said that the two BJP leaders were slapped with sections of 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth etc. – Non Bailable) and 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant – Bailable) of IPC and Section 25 of Arms Act (Punishment for certain offences for carrying illegal arms- Non Bailable).
As per police report, TMC also took out Ram Navmi Rallies with arms in some parts of the state. But, there is no FIR charged so far against any TMC leader. Other sources also confirmed that many miscreants from the ruling party took part in the Non TMC Ram Navmi Rallies to create panic and give a bad name to the Ram Navmi Celebrations all around.
__inputs from Agencies, IE, SNS, PTI and HT.