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Vishwa Hindu Parishad to shun arms during Ram Navami in Bengal

At least three people were killed and scores injured in Ram Navami riots across south Bengal last year.

Published: 01st April 2019 11:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2019 11:20 PM   |  A+A-

Activists on the way to VHP's 'Dharma Sabha' (Photo | EPS/Shekhar Yadav)

Express News Service

KOLKATA: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has decided to shun open display of weapons during Ram Navami celebrations across West Bengal on April, 14 in view of the Lok Sabha elections. It has also decided not to involve BJP candidates in its processions.

At least three people were killed and scores injured in Ram Navami riots across south Bengal last year. Several Sangh Parivar activists were booked under Arms Act for open display of weapons during the processions.

“Like other years, Ram Navami will be celebrated with much fanfare across the state. However, in view of the upcoming elections, we have decided not to use weapons during the processions. Also, we would request the 42 BJP candidates not to take part in the processions,” VHP eastern regional organisational general secretary Sachindranath Sinha said.

Senior Trinamool leader Sadhan Pandey, who had held several Ram Navami processions earlier sans weapons, claimed VHP's decision as their moral victory. “Trinamool is a non-violent party. We never used weapons in our processions. VHP seems to have learnt a lesson from us. The Sangh Parivar is scared that they may face action from the central forces if they flash weapons (during Ram Navami processions) before the elections,” Pandey said.

However, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that Sangh cadres will display weapons and the party’s LS poll candidates can take part in the processions if they want to. “Ram Navami is an ancient tradition. It doesn’t spread violence. We will continue to take out armed processions wherever we used to. And, if our candidates want part in the processions, they can,” Ghosh said.

“Trinamool leaders have stopped reading Namaz and have become Ram bhakts in the face of the BJP threat. It shows who’s scared before the polls,” he said.

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