More details have emerged on violence in West Bengal on 5th August, the day the Bhoomi Pujan for Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was performed by PM Narendra Modi. The West Bengal government had announced a one-day lockdown on that day, and the police had disrupted several Pujas organised by Hindus in Kharagpur area on that day. As reported earlier, police had dragged people out of Mandirs and Puja venues, lathi charged them, and vandalised the Puja venues.
Now, it has emerged that it was not only West Bengal police that disrupted Ram Pujas, Muslims also came out in large numbers to prevent Hindus from celebrating the historic event of beginning of the Ram Mandir construction. BJP and other Hindu organisations had organised Ram Pujas in several places in Kolkata, some of which were attacked by Muslim mobs, apart from being targeted by police.
Muslim dominated Raza Bazar area in Kolkata witnessed large gathering of Muslims to oppose the Ram Puja organised there. They were also enraged by saffron flags put on the streets on the occasion, and came forward to remove them. In the following video, a Muslim man can be seen arguing with some Hindu men over triangular saffron flags placed in front of the shops.
When the Hindus told him that the area is not his property, the Muslim man said ‘entire India is mine’, and threatened to burn all the saffron flags. After a few minutes, more Muslims arrive at the spot and start arguing with Hindus, leading to a clash between the two sides.
In another video from Raza Bazar, a large number of people can be seen on the street defying lockdown norms, busy with removing saffron flags. While one man shouts ‘utaro utaro sabo ko’ (remove them all), another man be heard shouting ‘ghush ke maro salo ko’ (get into their houses and beat them).
The clashes took place in Narkeldanga area near Raza Bazar, where Muslims objected to Ram Puja and the chants of Jai Sri Ram by Hindus at Shasthitala in Narkeldanga. The Muslims tried to block the road, and argued with Hindus. But before it could turn into a full-blown riot, a police team arrived at the spot and brought the situation under control. A large contingent of police was deployed at the area after that to prevent any further escalation of the situation.
While the West Bengal police disrupted Ram Pujas in the state for the violation of one-day lockdown on 5th August, Muslims seemed to have a free run on large gatherings. In another video posted by a social media user, a larger number of people can be seen gathering in the area to disrupt the pujas and to remove saffron flags from the Muslim dominated area.
5 August was one of the days scheduled for lockdown announced by the Mamata Banerjee led TMC govt in the state, where 7 days in the month has been selected for the lockdown. Other dates for the lockdown are 8, 20, 21, 27, 28 and 31. As these are standalone single day lockdowns, state BJP had requested to shift the 5th August’s lockdown to another date, but it was not agreed by the govt.