KOLKATA: A case was today registered against BJP West Bengal Mahila Morcha president Locket Chatterjee for allegedly participating in an armed Ram Navami procession in Birbhum district yesterday, police said.
According to the police, the video footage of state BJP president Dilip Ghosh purportedly carrying arms while participating in a Ram Navami rally is also being verified.
"A case has been lodged against Locket Chatterjee, which also includes non-bailable sections for participating in a rally with arms," Birbhum Superintendent of Police (SP) N Sudheer Kumar said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she had directed the director general of police (DGP) to instruct all the SPs to take strong action in this regard and not to spare anyone, whoever he or she was.
"The law will take its own course.
I will not tolerate this," she said at a public meeting at Pailan, near here, and added that if the police failed to take action, steps would be taken against them.
Banerjee also called those, who allegedly carried swords and other weapons in Ram Navami processions yesterday, "hooligans".
Referring to media reports of the state BJP chief allegedly carrying a sword while participating in a Ram Navami rally at Kharagpur in West Midnapore district, a senior police officer said they were verifying the video footage of the procession, adding that cases would be registered under non-bailable sections against Ghosh if the contents of the reports were found to be true.
One person was killed in a clash between two groups over a Ram Navami procession in Purulia yesterday as sword-wielding BJP supporters defied the ban on armed rallies at several paces of the state, the police said.
Even children were seen carrying swords at a procession in Purulia yesterday, ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders have alleged.
Ghosh said he was not aware of any ban on carrying arms in Ram Navami processions and added that it was an age-old Hindu tradition to conduct "astra puja" (worship of weapons) on the day of Ram Navami.
"Where is the government order banning arms in Ram Navami processions ? Where is the circular?" he asked.
The BJP and the TMC had organised processions to celebrate Ram Navami in various parts of the state yesterday with the saffron party dubbing the rallies as the first step towards "uniting the Hindus" of Bengal.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma has said that despite the police not giving permission, arms were carried in rallies at various places.
"The police will take legal action against it," he added.