BJP behind Ram Navami violence in Howrah: Mamata

Banerjee admitted that it was a failure on part of the police

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday asserted that neither Hindus nor Muslims, but the BJP and other right-wing organisations were behind the violence in Howrah’s Kazipara area during a procession on Ram Navami.

She also appealed to the people of both communities to maintain peace and law and order in the area.

Banerjee admitted that it was a failure on part of the police and said strict action will be taken in this regard.

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“I am lucky that no one was killed in yesterday’s clash,” Banerjee told news channel ABP Ananda.

The Trinamool Congress supremo announced that those affected in the clash and had their houses and shops vandalised would be compensated by the state government.

“I have been appealing to the people to carry out Ram Navami processions peacefully. No government incites people to carry out vandalism. It was the BJP, Bajrang Dal and some of their allies who directly carried out the vandalism,” Banerjee said.

She alleged that the BJP incited similar clashes at around 100 places in the country.

“Howrah’s incident is very unfortunate. I had repeatedly given instructions that the processions should not pass through that area. I am telling you, it’s neither the Hindus nor the Muslims who carried out yesterday’s attacks.

“Criminals used guns, petrol bombs and several other materials including bulldozers to enter the area and attacked those who were fasting during Ramadan month and carried out devastations at shops and residences,” she added.

Banerjee said that the police officers who failed in carrying out their duty properly on Thursday will face strict action.

“I will appeal to all and both the communities to have faith in me and maintain peace. I know how to handle this situation,” she said.

Talking more on the incident, Banerjee expressed her apprehensions that the BJP-led central government would be sending probe agencies to the state in connection with the clashes in Howrah.

“Bengal is a peaceful team… But in this context they (the BJP-led central government) will send agencies,” she said.

Later, police said that 45 people have been arrested in connection with their alleged involvement in Thursday’s vandalism in Howrah.

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