West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party chief Dilip Ghosh was booked on Thursday after he took out a sword procession to mark Ram Navami in his Kharagpur Sadar constituency. The case was registered against him under sections of the Arms Act.
“At the procession led by Dilip Ghosh, people were seen carrying swords,” an unidentified police officer told The Indian Express. “In such cases, one has to take prior permission from police to carry weapons longer than nine inches.”
The BJP leader said he would fight the case filed against him. “We will fight it. Whether be it a case or an election, we will win,” Ghosh said. “The state can file as many cases as it wants to. I have no regrets. What were police and administration doing when arms were brandished during Muharram processions? At that time, they didn’t bother to lodge any case as it might hit the votebank of the Trinamool Congress.”
A day before the procession, Ghosh’s ‘Ramzada and Haramzada’ remark had led to a controversy. “Ram belongs to the entire world,” Ghosh had said at a rally on Wednesday. “We believe Ram is there in all creations. One who is afraid of Ram, Ram does not belong to him. Here [Bengal] a fight is on between ‘Ramzada’ and ‘Haramzada’. It is a test to decide who is on the side of Ram, and who is not.”
The action against Ghosh was taken hours after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said people taking out processions with weapons would be punished. “I am not going to tolerate any muscle flexing in the name of religion,” she said on Thursday. “Some BJP leaders who do not know about Bengali culture held processions with swords to create an atmosphere of fear. Can anyone perform puja with a sword?” the chief minister said on Thursday. Several similar armed processions were organised in various parts of the state, with many in Kolkata.