Kolkata, Mar 28: Trouble over Ram Navami processions continued in West Bengal for the third day on Wednesday as fresh incidents of violence were reported in Asansol. Authorities imposed Section 144 in Asansol following clashes between two communities. A huge contingent of the police force and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in Asansol to maintain law and order. (Update: Asansol, Raniganj Remain Tensed, Internet Services Suspended After Fresh Clashes)
A clash broke out between two groups over a Ram Navami procession in Asansol’s Raniganj on Monday. A person was allegedly hacked to death while a Deputy Commissioner of Police lost a hand after getting hit by a bomb. Tension soared high as several shops and houses were vandalised and set ablaze during the Ram Navami procession. 19 people were arrested for fomenting trouble.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday asked for a report from the West Bengal government on incidents of arson and violence during Ram Navami processions in the last two days. According to MHA, the Central government also offered assistance of paramilitary forces in the light of reports of continuing violence and tension in some districts of the state. (ALSO READ: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Statue Knocked Down During Ram Navami Violence)
On Tuesday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Asansol, Babul Supriyo accused the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government of destroying communal harmony by practising “appeasement politics” and called on Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi to apprise him of the situation in Raniganj. The Chief Minister has directed the police department to take strong action against those who carried arms in the rallies.
The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP had organised several processions to celebrate Ram Navami in the state. Heavy police force has been deployed and police pickets put up in sensitive parts of the state since Monday evening to prevent any more untoward incidents.