There seems to be no reprieve from the violence that began with clashes in some parts of West Bengal on the occasion of Ram Navami yet. After reports of clashes from Raniganj and Murshidabad, among other parts of the state, fresh reports of violence are now coming in from Asansol. As per an ANI report, the government has imposed section 144 and Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Police force have been deployed to control the situation.
The development comes even as West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi made an appeal for peace and said that religious practices should be performed peacefully. When asked if he has any piece of advice for the state government, Tripathi told PTI, “whatever I have to say to the state government, I’ll communicate separately”.
Earlier, the Centre had sought reports from the West Bengal Government days after reports of violence during Ram Navami processions in the state. It has also offered to assist on the situation. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in a communication, has asked the West Bengal government to send a report on the incident and steps taken to restore normalcy.
In its communique, the Centre has also offered assistance of paramilitary forces on reports of continuing violence and tension in some districts, an MHA spokesperson said. Some people were reportedly injured in intermittent violence involving Ram Navami processions at a number of places in the state, including Murshidabad, Purulia, Raniganj and Bardhman West.
Among those injured include some policemen with a senior police officer losing a hand after a bomb was thrown at him during a clash in Raniganj. The state government ordered heavy deployment of police in violence-affected areas, apart from lodging several cases of rioting and arson.
On Monday, state chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked the police to take strong action against those who carried swords and other weapons during Ram Navami processions in the state and not to spare anyone. The CM said that some people were “using and selling” religion to continue their business. “I am directing the DGP to instruct all the SPs to take strong action and not to spare anyone whoever he or she is. Law will take its own course. I will not tolerate this,” Mamata Banerjee was quoted as saying by PTI.
She had also warned that steps would be taken against cops if they fail to take actions against them.