West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that some political parties want to incite riots and asked why should the citizens suffer for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “sin”.

Her comments came after violent protests continued in Howrah district against the disparaging remarks made by two BJP spokespersons about Prophet Muhammad.

“Violent incidents have been taking place in Howrah for two days now,” the chief minister wrote on Twitter. “There are some political parties behind this and they want to instigate riots. But this will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against all of them. The BJP will sin, common people will suffer?”

The BJP is facing backlash from Muslims in India and abroad, including a number of Gulf countries, after Nupur Sharma made the remarks about the Prophet during a debate on the Times Now television channel on May 26. Naveen Jindal, who was media head of the party’s Delhi unit, had also posted a tweet on June 1 about the Prophet, which he later deleted.

On June 5, the BJP had suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal after the diplomatic outrage.

Protests have been continuing in Howrah since Thursday. Demonstrations were also held against the BJP leaders in several parts of the country on Friday.

In Howrah, the protestors set several kiosks and vehicles, including those belonging to police, on fire. In Uleberia and Panchla areas of the district, the local BJP party offices were also set on fire allegedly by the protestors.

The protestors also blocked road and railway tracks, leading to long traffic jams and cancellation of several local and express trains.

Internet services have been suspended across the district till June 13 to rein in the unrest. Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits the gathering of more than four people, is in place in several areas such as Uluberia, Panchla and Domjur till June 15, PTI reported.

Internet services have also been suspended in Murshidabad’s Beldanga area till 6 am on June 14 to curtail the spread of rumours.

A fresh clash broke out between the police and the protestors in Howrah’s Panchla Bazaar on Saturday. The police threw tear gas shells to disperse those who threw stones at them, ANI reported.

Bengal BJP chief arrested

The police also arrested West Bengal BJP unit chief Sukanta Majumdar on Saturday afternoon as he tried to visit violence-hit areas in Howrah district, PTI reported.

Majumdar, the MP of Balurghat in Uttar Dinajpur, was arrested near the toll plaza on Vidyasagar Setu, the police said. “This is a preventive arrest,” an officer added.

He was, however, released later in the evening, ANI reported.

Earlier in the day, the BJP leader told reporters that the police had put up barricades outside his home and stopped him from stepping out.

Trinamool Congress leader and MLA Tapas Ray alleged that Majumdar wants to incite communal tension. “Police did the right thing by stopping him,” he added.

On Saturday, Commissioner of Howrah City Police C Sudhakar and Superintendent of Howrah Rural Police Soumya Roy were transferred after the violence, News18 reported.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked police chief of states and Union Territories to be alert after the protests on Friday, ANI reported.

In Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi, two persons died as protests erupted after Friday prayers. In Uttar Pradesh, a total of 227 persons have been arrested from different districts by the police in connection with the demonstrations.