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Amit Shah calls Bengal Governor over Howrah's Ram Navami clash; prohibitory orders imposed in area Howrah clash

Amit Shah calls Bengal Governor over Howrah's Ram Navami clash; prohibitory orders imposed in area

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 31 Mar 2023, 07:42 pm

New Delhi/Kolkata/IBNS: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday evening called Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose and state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Sukanta Majumdar to assess the law and order situation in the state after clashes broke out in Howrah over Ram Navami processions. 

A large contingent of police was deployed in the area after a mob went on a rampage, burning vehicles, throwing stones and ransacking shops.

Several police vehicles were also damaged during the incident.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 have been invoked in Howrah South's Shibpur after stones were pelted at cops in a fresh incident of violence near the Kazipara area on Friday.

So far, 46 people have been arrested in connection with the violence. More cops were deployed to the area.

The governor, who will soon be visiting the riot-hit areas, is believed to have provided Shah with details about the violence and the current situation on the ground.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier called "rioters the enemy of the country" and said those behind today's violence "will not be spared".

"Those who were involved in today's violence will not be spared based on any excuse. As far as the police are concerned, they are working tirelessly, but at times they find themselves in a tough situation to have good relations on both sides and maintain peace," Banerjee had said.

"Let me make this very clear, in today's incident, the ones who have given safe passage to the offenders, I will take strong action against them. There were clear instructions to mark the routes for the procession. I do not support the riot-mongers and consider them the enemy of the country," she had said.

In a direct dig at the opposition BJP in Bengal, the CM said: "They (BJP) have always targeted Howrah. The other targets for them are Park Circus and Islampur. Everybody must be alert in their localities."

"They have been hiring goons from outside the state to orchestrate communal riots. Nobody has stopped their processions but they do not have the right to march with swords and bulldozers. How did they get the audacity to do this in Howrah?"

Bengal MP Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of Mamata Banerjee and considered number two in the Trinamool, accused the BJP of inciting trouble. 

"How was a Ram Navami rally took place with guns and pistols and without permission?" he asked, playing videos which appeared to show a group of men participating in a rally with pistols.

He also accused BJP's Suvendu Adhikari of orchestrating the violence with help from the party's top brass. "He meets The Union Home Minister in Delhi and then returns to Kolkata. He held a public meeting the next day and says watch TV tomorrow. The next day there are riots," he alleged.

The BJP, meanwhile, has sought an NIA probe and deployment of central forces in the affected areas through a petition in the Calcutta High Court.

BJP MP Locket Chatterjee alleged that "Hindus in Bengal are under threat" and accused the Bengal CM, who is also the state's Home Minister, of appeasement politics.

"It is disheartening. Such visuals emerge from Bengal every Ram Navami and Durga idol immersion. It is not acceptable that the lives of Hindus in Bengal are under threat. When there was violence in Howrah yesterday, Mamata Banerjee was sitting on a 30-hour dharna," she said.

Bengal witnessed communal riots during the Ram Navami celebrations ahead of the last general elections.