Fresh violence has been reported in West Bengal's Howrah which saw communal clashes during a Ram Navami procession on Thursday. The incident was reported despite heavy police deployment - including riot control force - in the area.
Visuals from the ground showed the police firing tear gas shells as the mob went on a rampage in the area, throwing stones and even attacking media persons.
Fresh incidents were reported in Shibpur just hours after the road where the incident took place was opened up to traffic.
At least 36 people have been arrested following the clashes in Shibpur where several vehicles, including a few police vehicles, were set on fire and shops ransacked after alleged incendiary slogans and stone pelting during the religious procession.
The BJP has sought an NIA probe and deployment of central forces in the affected areas through a petition in the Calcutta High Court.
"I have filed a Public Interest Litigation today in the Hon'ble High Court at Calcutta pertaining to the incidents of violence & attack on the Ram Navami processions at Howrah & Dalkhola. I have prayed for NIA probe and immediate deployment of Central Forces in such areas," tweeted Suvendu Adhikari, leader of the opposition in the Bengal assembly.
for containing the situation and restoration of Law and Order situation as well as for saving innocent lives. The Hon'ble Acting Chief Justice has been pleased grant leave to file the PIL and directed the same to appear on Monday at top of the list.— Suvendu Adhikari • শুভেন্দু অধিকারী (@SuvenduWB) March 31, 2023
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said the procession took an unauthorised route "to particularly target and attack one community".
She accused the BJP of hiring goons from outside the state to orchestrate communal riots. "Nobody has stopped their processions, but they do not have the right to march with swords and bulldozers. How did they get the audacity to do this in Howrah?" she said.
The BJP has hit back, accusing the Trinamool Congress of lying.
"TMC is lying because it was not the wrong route. There was permission till Howrah ground and this was the only route to go there. Now such days have come in India that you can take out Ram Navami procession in some areas and can't go to other areas: West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar told news agency ANI.