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West Bengal: Violence erupts during Ram Navami procession in Howrah, several vehicles and shops torched

When the Ram Navami procession reached a Muslim majority area in Howrah, suddenly trouble began after people in the area started shouting and pelting stones at the procession

After West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee advised Hindus to avoid ‘Muslim areas’ during Ram Navami processions, such a procession came under attack in Howrah today. Stones were pelted on the procession from the terraces of the buildings in the Shibpur area of Howrah, the twin city of Kolkata. This led to a clash between two groups, leading to violence and arson.

Vehicles and shops were also torched during the violence. Videos from the place show several vehicles on fire on the road, while many other vehicles were lying overturned. The damaged vehicles include a police vehicle. The neighbourhood where the violence was reported is dominated by Muslims.

Reportedly, when the Ram Navami procession reached the area, suddenly trouble began and people in the area started shouting and pelting stones at the devotees. Reportedly some people in the procession retaliated, leading to a clash between the two groups. Soon after the mob started burning shops and vehicles.

Several police personnel have been deployed in the area. A police team conducted a flag march after the ruckus broke out. Police fired tear gas shells to control the situation, and chased away the rioters.

Several processions were taken out on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami including that by the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. The leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari was also holding a procession near Ramrajatala, only 1.5 km away from where the chaos happened.

Videos show stones pelted from rooftops by the attackers on the peaceful procession. There was a complete breakdown of law and order.

The state administration hasn’t released any official statement on the incident yet. Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and charged her for being ‘directly responsible’ for the violence.

It is notable that earlier today, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cited the occasion of Ram Navami to indicate that Hindus create violence in the so-called “Muslim areas” during Ram Navami processions and attack the community. She asked the Hindus to avoid going to “Muslim areas” because it is the month of Ramzan. “I want to request those who are taking out the Ram Navami procession, please do but do it peacefully. Kindly avoid Muslim areas as Ramzan is going on. Celebrate peacefully but don’t try to create violence. Don’t get provoked,” she said.

Notably, stones were pelted at a Ram Navami procession near a mosque in Vadodara’s Fatehpura area today. Some vehicles got damaged in the incident.

The violence against Hindus during their religious festivals is a regular occurrence throughout the country. Last year also, the Ram Navami procession in Howrah was attacked, including stone pelting, which resulted in injuring many devotees. The participants had to abandon the procession because of the assault.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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