Prohibitory orders clamped in Bengal’s Hooghly after clashes during Ram Navami rally

Two Ram Navami processions were organised in the Rishra police station area, and the second one came under attack near Wellington Jute Mill More on G.T. Road around 6.15 p.m. on April 2

April 03, 2023 12:07 pm | Updated 05:45 pm IST - Rishra (West Bengal)

Police deployed in large numbers after a clash broke out between two groups during Ram Navami procession, in Hooghly district, on April 2, 2023.

Police deployed in large numbers after a clash broke out between two groups during Ram Navami procession, in Hooghly district, on April 2, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prohibitory orders continued, internet services remained suspended overnight in some areas of the violence-hit Hooghly district in West Bengal and the BJP state president was stopped from entering Rishra by the police on April 3.

Police said the situation in Rishra and Srerampore areas in Hoogly district, where violent clashes broke out during the Ram Navami procession on Sunday, was peaceful and under control on Monday and would likely improve in the afternoon.

Section 144 imposed and internet services suspended after violence reported, shops closed and police security deployed at various places | Video Credit: ANI

The barring of the BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar from visiting Rishra elicited a strong response from the saffron party, which demanded immediate deployment of Central forces in the area.

“I am not being allowed to meet my injured party workers. The police are citing the prohibitory orders. The police can at least allow Mahato and me to enter. The police do not want to allow me as they want to hide the truth,” the BJP leader told reporters.

Mr. Majumdar, who was accompanied by BJP MP Jyotirmoy Singh Mahto, demanding immediate deployment of Central forces, said the “State police has completely failed to control the situation”.

Also read: Prohibitory orders imposed in parts of Howrah

Mr. Mahato was seen having heated arguments with the police personnel.

“The police are stopping us because we are from BJP but TMC MPs and MLAs are roaming free in the area . The government does not want the truth to come out. The violence was pre-planned,” he claimed.

A Chandannagore Police Commissionerate official said about 12 people were arrested for the clashes.

“Things are under control and peaceful. Prohibitory orders are in force and there is heavy police deployment. Security forces conducted route marches at some places of the affected area. There was tension in some areas in the morning. We dispersed the crowds and boosted security,” he told PTI.

Markets were allowed to open for some time and police are keeping a tab on the movement of vehicles, he said.

Hooghly section 144 imposed and internet services suspended after the violence | Video Credit: ANI

“Hopefully, the situation will further improve in the afternoon. A decision on revoking prohibitory orders and resumption of internet services will be taken after evaluation,” the official added.

Two Ram Navami processions were organised in Rishra police station area and the second one came under attack near Wellington Jute Mill More on GT Road around 6:15 p.m. on Sunday. The prohibitory orders were imposed in Rishra wards 1-5 and Serampore’s ward 24 and internet services were suspended in some parts of the district till 10 p.m. on Monday, the police said.

Some BJP workers were seen holding a sit-in near the affected area in Rishra and protesting against the stopping of the the party’s convoy on Monday.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari (BJP) has blamed TMC for engineering the attack on the Ram Navami rally organised by the BJP.

Also read: CID takes over probe into Howrah Ram Navami clash

Mr. Adhikari, who met injured Pursurah BJP MLA Biman Ghosh at the hospital, told reporters that he wanted to visit the trouble-torn pocket immediately but was not allowed to by the Mamata Banerjee administration which clamped the prohibitory order to prevent him from meeting the affected families.

“I wonder why Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee and other TMC leaders are allowed free access to the area, while opposition leaders are prevented from meeting the terrified local people and BJP party workers,” he said.

TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh accused BJP of fomenting trouble in the area.

“Action is being taken against culprits, irrespective of their political affiliation or religion. The violence was a pre-planned conspiracy by BJP to disrupt communal harmony and peace in the state. It wants to secure votes at the cost of human lives,” he said

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