Thu. Jun 13th, 2024


Mamata Banerjee aid the BJP used bulldozers, tractors and petrol to “defame” Ram Navami processions.


The ruling Trinamool Congress in Bengal has stepped up the attack on BJP after the arrest of a man identified as Sumit Shaw, who has been accused of brandishing a gun during the Ram Navami procession in Howrah. The BJP has demanded the deployment of central forces in the violence-hit areas of the state and a probe by a central agency. Today, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ripped into the BJP, equating it with the CPM.  

The Chief Minister said, “I have to be alerted all the time that the BJP will cause riots somewhere. They don’t understand that the people of Bengal don’t like riots and riots are not in our culture. The people do not engage in riots”.

The BJP, she added, cannot “match up to us and that’s why to cause riots they bring in hired goons from outside”.

“The moment peace returned to Howrah, they went dancing to Rishra the next day… They say this is religious work. What religious work is this? These people are defaming Hinduism,” she said.

Reiterating what took place in Bengal is not a riot but criminal violence —  “violence perpetrated by criminals” — she said: “You have seen the picture of a young man on television. He is dancing with a gun at a Ram Navami procession. Did Lord Ram come and whisper into his ears that take guns and hold processions for me?”  

“This was what the CPM used to do. You have witnessed the torture of the CPM for 34 years… CPM’s goons have become BJP’s experts now,” she added.

The BJP, she said, has used bulldozers, tractors and petrol in Howrah to “defame” Ram Navami processions.

“Using brute force, they burned carts belonging to fruit sellers. They have set fire to people’s homes. We are ensuring everyone gets fruit carts and those whose homes have been damaged, we are giving them help from the government,” she told a gathering of party workers in Midnapore.

The police say Sumit Shaw, who was arrested in Bihar, has confessed his participation in the procession armed with a gun.  

Asked about the arrest, state BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar told NDTV that Sumit Shaw must have been participating in a Ram Navami procession in Munger.  

The BJP has claimed that the video shared by Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee was not from Howrah but elsewhere.  

“Why can’t Trinamool Congress show videos of Ram Navami processions being attacked? Show one such video. The attack happened from the other side. The Chief Minister is encouraging communal elements. They should be arrested and jailed,” Mr Majumdar added.

BJP MP from Hooghly Locket Chatterjee tweeted:

During the Ram Navami rally in Howrah on Thursday, there was large-scale violence that spilled over to the second day. On Sunday, there was violence in Rishra, again during a Ram Navami procession, that saw a flare-up on Monday night.


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