Trouble over Ram Navami processions continued in West Bengal for the second day on Monday as members of saffron outfits clashed with the police in Murshidabad and Bardhaman West districts, resulting in a senior police officer losing his hand when a bomb was hurled at him.
One person was killed and five police personnel were injured on Sunday in a clash between two groups in Purulia as sword-wielding BJP supporters defied the state government’s ban on armed rallies on Ram Navami.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed the director general of police (DGP) to instruct all the superintendents of police (SPs) to take strong action against those who carried arms in the rallies.
“The law will take its own course. I will not tolerate this,” she said at a meeting at Pailan, near here, adding that action would be taken against the police if they failed to take measures in this regard.
“Did Lord Ram ask his followers to stage processions with pistols and swords?” she asked.
An FIR was registered against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader on Monday, on charges of leading a rally holding a 'Trishul' (trident) on Ram Navami.
The Bengal BJP leader Locket Chatterjee held a trident in Rampurhat to attend Ram Navami celebration on Sunday. She tweeted on her twitter account:"I am in Rampurhat to attend Ramnawami celebration, @MamataOfficial’s goon can’t stop me to take part in celebration. TMC shantibahini along with state police is harassing organising committees to stop Ramnavami. #MamataAgainstRamnavami"
This is with reference to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's statement at a meeting in Bolpur where she said ‘hooliganism will not be tolerated’.
‘I know that there are only a couple of organisations in Howrah and Asansol which traditionally hold Ram Navami processions with arms. Those who have been celebrating Ram Navami for more than a decade will be given special permission to hold processions with arms.’ Bannerjee told media.
The holy celebrations, on Sunday, turned sour after clashes erupted in various parts of Bengal between BJP and Bajrang Dal workers, who were brandishing swords, trishuls (a three-pronged spear) and in some cases pistols in their celebratory processions, and Trinamool Congress members, leaving one dead and several injured.