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Fresh Clashes Erupt in West Bengal a Day After Ram Navami Violence: What We Know

While the BJP slammed the TMC's alleged inaction, Mamata Banerjee said the saffron party was behind the violence.

What We Know
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Fresh Clashes Erupt in West Bengal a Day After Ram Navami Violence: What We Know
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Fresh incidents of stone-pelting were reported on Friday, 31 March, from West Bengal's Howrah district, which witnessed the outbreak of communal clashes amid Ram Navami celebrations on Thursday.

Section 144 imposed: The police allegedly resorted to using batons to disperse the crowd, according to news agency PTI. Section 144 of the CrPC was also imposed in Howrah's Kazipara area, which bore the brunt of the violence.

"The situation was calm and peaceful until this afternoon. After that, police personnel were pelted with stones which sparked tension in the area. Some people were arrested as our officers reacted instantly," a police official told PTI.

Since Thursday, 45 people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

Amid the clashes, locals locked themselves inside their houses and downed the shutters of their shops. Vehicular movement was also disrupted in the conflict-affected areas.

At least three policeman have also sustained injuries after an unidentified crowd pelted stones and bricks at them, PTI reported.

Meanwhile, the police used loudspeakers to ask locals to not roam around in the area. "If you are found roaming around, we will take strict action as per the law," one of them was heard saying in a video being circulated on social media.

Several personnel of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) from the Kolkata Police have also been deployed to contain the violence.

Political Mud-Slinging in Full-Force

Meanwhile, the blame-game between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gained steam, with the latter targeting the state's ruling party with fresh ammunition.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose to take stock of the situation. During the call, Shah sought to know the condition of the violence-hit areas in Howrah.

What did the BJP say? Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur slammed the Mamata Banerjee-led government, alleging that she becomes a "mute spectator" when devotees of Lord Ram are attacked.

"Bengal is burning, Ram devotees are being pelted with stones, journalists are being beaten up and Mamata didi is silent. Why?" the minister took to Twitter to say.


Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, meanwhile, filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Calcutta High Court, urging a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the violence over the last two days. In addition to this, he also demanded the deputation of Central forces to contain the situation.

"(WB Home) Minister (Mamata Banerjee) is useless. Her resignation is the only solution. I sent a mail to the Union Home Minister and Governor yesterday. Today I approached the High Court. The Governor is going to visit the spot. The court should step forward and all this should stop," he told ANI.

What did Mamata Banerjee say? In a rebuttal to the BJP's attacks, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the BJP and other right-wing groups were behind the violence.

"The BJP along with Bajrang Dal and other such organisations were involved in the violence with arms," she said while speaking to news channel ABP Ananda.

She also appealed for peace, saying that neither Hindus nor Muslims were responsible for the violence.

Further, she pledged to assist all those people whose property had been damaged amid the violence and said that strict action would be taken against the accused persons.

On Thursday, vehicles were torched and shops ransacked when two groups clashed amid Ram Navami celebrations in the Howrah district. While the police managed to bring the situation under control, it flared up again on Friday.

(With inputs from PTI and ABP Ananda.)

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Topics:  West Bengal   Ram Navami   Violence 

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