This Article is From Apr 27, 2023

Bengal Ram Navami Violence: Court Orders Probe by Anti-Terror Agency NIA

West Bengal Ram Navami Violence: Violence had rocked West Bengal's Howrah during Ram Navami celebrations last month.

West Bengal Ram Navami Violence: Clashes were later reported from Hoogly district as well.

Kolkata/New Delhi:

The Calcutta High Court today ordered a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the violence that broke out during Ram Navami celebrations in West Bengal.

Acting on a petition filed by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, the high court ordered the transfer of investigation to the anti-terror agency from the West Bengal police.

The court also directed police to transfer all records and CCTV footage to the central government within two weeks so the NIA could take over the probe.

Several vehicles were set on fire, stones thrown and shops ransacked as clashes between two groups broke out in Howrah's Shibpur during Ram Navami celebrations last month. 

Clashes were later reported at Rishra in Hooghly district and Dalkhola in Uttar Dinajpur district as well.

The violent clashes had sparked a political slugfest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP. Both shared videos as evidence blaming each other for the violence.

Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee alleged that the BJP had approached the high court seeking a probe by the NIA, a central body, as they want to avoid being investigated in the state to "escape action".

"They know they will be caught if the probe happens here," he said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of allegedly trying to stoke communal tension during the procession. She alleged the BJP had hired goons from other states to orchestrate communal riots.

The BJP denied the allegations as "baseless" and accused the Mamata Banerjee government of appeasing Muslims and targeting Hindus.

"Hindus in Bengal are under threat," said BJP MP Locket Chatterjee.