This Article is From Mar 31, 2023

"For Nurturing Its Politics...": Trinamool Attacks BJP Over Howrah Clashes

"People were carrying guns and swords in the Ram Navami procession. Shops and materials of small vendors were vandalised. What form of a procession is this?," Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee said.

'For Nurturing Its Politics...': Trinamool Attacks BJP Over Howrah Clashes

A day after clash erupted between two groups amid Ram Navami celebrations in Howrah, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee on Friday, launched a fresh round of attacks on the Bharatiya Janata Party for "spoiling" the atmosphere in the state and creating "enmity" among the people.

Addressing a press conference, here on Friday, Abhishek Banerjee, said, "For the past few days, there have been attempts to disrupt the peace and harmony in Bengal. We have appealed to everyone to maintain peace and order".

"Despite that, a political party, for nurturing its politics, despite having no police permission, vehemently took out the procession on a route where issues happened last year as well," he added.

During the press conference, the TMC MP also showed several videos, where some people with 'saffron' flags and chanting "Jai Shri Ram" slogans were purportedly seen torching and ransacking properties.

Banerjee said, "People were carrying guns and swords in the Ram Navami procession. Shops and materials of small vendors were vandalised. What form of a procession is this? Insanely playing DJ and worshipping Ram is which ritual? We have lived in Bengal for so long, never seen anything like this. I might be lying, but these videos won't lie".

He accused BJP of creating enmity among people and forcefully imposing their "culture" on Bengal.

"Such incidents didn't happen in the 2011-2016 period. It started after they (BJP) came in power at the centre and won three seats in the Bengal Assembly. They started treating the whole state as their personal property. Creating enmity among people of different communities, forcefully imposing their culture on the people of Bengal and shamelessly reaping political fruits out of it," Banerjee said.

The TMC leader said further 'challenged' BJP to call out for the arrest of those being seen doing violence in the said videos.

"I am clearly saying here that those who have done violence, whether they are from any religion, or political party, strict action will be taken against them. But I would like to challenge BJP if any of their leaders come and says on record, that they want those people under arrest who are seen setting properties of poor people on fire and dancing with weapons. I challenge them. Our Chief Minister has appealed to people to keep harmony, but has the BJP leader given any statement even after 24 hours?" Banerjee added.

He alleged that the incidents of violence were "pre-planned" in nature.

"This was pre-planned. From Shyambazar, a BJP leader was saying to keep eye on TV tomorrow. Why? Just a day before, that leader met with the Home Minister and came to Shyambazar," he said.

He further added, "There was no reply to Howrah Police Commissionerate regarding details of permission copy, the exact number of participants and exact beginning and end of the rally. They did not submit any documents but started taking out a procession on the route which was not permitted".

The TMC leader added that if there is any lapse on the police side, they will be booked and action will be taken against them, as the Chief Minister said.

Earlier in the day, the situation turned violent in the Shibpur area of Howrah, after fresh violence broke out here on Friday a day after arson on 'Ram Navami'.

This came after two groups clashed on Thursday in Howrah amid Ram Navami celebrations. During the procession, the rioters vandalized public and private properties and set vehicles on fire.

After the disruptions, West Bengal Police on Thursday conducted a flag march in Howrah where violence broke out during a Ram Navami procession.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)