Second Ram Navami flare-up in Bengal in two days, one ‘killed’

Violence erupts in Burdwan’s Raniganj town on Monday after stone-pelters target procession; senior cop injured; Sunday’s clashes in Purulia too claim one life

Published: 27th March 2018 05:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2018 05:02 AM   |  A+A-

Police personnel patrol after clashes and incidents of arson over a Ram Navami procession in Raniganj, in Burdwan district of West Bengal, on Monday | PTI

Express News Service

KOLKATA: Communal violence erupted in Bengal’s Burdwan district on Monday after stone-pelters targeted a Ram Navami procession in Raniganj, reportedly killing one person and injuring several others, including a police officer.This was the second successive day when such violence flared in the eastern state, with one person killed in clashes in Purulia district during a Ram Navami procession on Sunday.

A second incident was reported on Monday in Murshidabad district, with clashes breaking out at Kandi between BJP and Trinamool workers who took out separate Ram Navami processions.Sources said Monday’s violence broke out at Hill Bustee area in Raniganj, when members of a community pelted stones at the procession. Unconfirmed reports said a daily wager lost his life, but police did not confirm any deaths.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Arindam Roy Choudhury was seriously injured after he was attacked with a country bomb. He is being treated at a private hospital in Durgapur.Several shops and police vehicles were torched as violence spread through the coal town, sources said. A battalion of the Rapid Action Force and a huge contingent of state police were deployed in the town. Police said the situation had been brought under control but tension was simmering.

Local MP Babul Supriyo, who is the Union minister of state for heavy industries, accused the police of inaction in his tweets.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered police to book persons accused in the communal violence under the Arms Act. She warned of action against policemen found to be in collusion with the accused.Speaking at an administrative review meeting, Mamata termed political Hindutva a new form of religion that was alien to the country’s ethos.

“Did Ram ask people to march with pistols and swords? We can’t allow these hooligans, who are bringing disrepute to Ram’s name, to disrupt peace. This is not our Hinduism. Our Hinduism teaches love and respect to all. Whose religion is this? This is a new religion established by a political party which thinks it can win over India with this new religion of theirs,” she claimed.

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