Ram Navami: Ram Navami celebrated across the country on Thursday, witnessed communal clashes and disturbances in a few states. The festival that marks the end of the nine-day Chaitra-Navratri celebrations, remained largely incident-free otherwise owing to sharp vigilance from law enforcement agencies. On Friday peace returned to the cities that witnessed violence on Thursday.
Howrah in West Bengal saw communal clashes and violence during a Ram Navami procession. However, peace returned on Friday with police deployment in the area. The road where the incident took place, has now opened up to traffic.
Rioters enemies of country, says Mamata
Rioters damaged several vehicles and set them on fire on Thursday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said rioters were enemies of the country. She said the procession took an unauthorised route “to particularly target and attack one community”. The police conducted a flag march after restoring calm in the area.
The CM 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 slammed Mamata’s statement and accused 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”, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar told news agency ANI.
Tension in Mumbai area
In Mumbai’s Malvani area, tension prevailed as two groups clashed with each other during a Rama Navami ‘Shobha Yatra’ on Thursday night. Police arrested over 20 people for the violence, which left one person injured. Police said the situation was tense for a while, but it is under control now.
A police team was attacked and several of their vehicles were set on fire during a violent clash between two groups in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad on Wednesday night. An argument between two groups of young men resulted into a clash in Aurangabad, which has been renamed Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar.
At least 12 people, 10 of them policemen, were injured after a mob of around 500 people went berserk and hurled stones and petrol-filled bottles near a temple. One person was killed.
Tight security arrangements were made in the area, which is now peaceful.
Violence in Gujarat
Gujarat’s Vadodara too witnessed violence after stones were thrown at two Ram Navami processions. Around 24 people were detained for allegedly throwing stones in Fatehpura, where a man was injured. Some persons, including women, were injured in Kumbharwada also, police said.
In Karnataka’s Hassan district, two people were stabbed during a clash between people of two communities during a Ram Navami procession. The situation is reportedly peaceful now.
In Delhi, many people defied a police order and took out a procession in Jahangirpuri, which witnessed riots last year during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations.