West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked the state administration to take strong action against those who organised rallies with weapons on the occasion of Ram Navami, IANS reported. Banerjee said those who indulge in such hooliganism are trying to politicise and defame Hinduism.
“Did Ram ask anybody to rally with arms and swords?” Banerjee asked during a district level administrative meeting in South 24 Parganas. “Can we leave the state’s administration and law and order in the hands of these hooligans, who are defaming Ram? I am instructing director general of police [Surajit Kar Purkayastha] and all the police superintendents to take strong action against such elements.”
Banerjee added that she would also take action against any police officer who tried to overlook the matter.
One person was killed and at least eight injured in incidents of violence in parts of West Bengal during celebrations on Ram Navami. Right-wing groups organised armed processions in parts of the state. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh brandished a sword in Kharagpur. He said the participation of people showed the country was “approaching Ram Rajya”. Ghosh was booked last year on Ram Navami for leading a similar procession where participants carried swords.
Banerjee claimed that the people of West Bengal “got scared” on watching such rallies on Sunday. “This is not the culture of Bengal. They are doing business in the name of religion and maligning the religion,” the chief minister said.
She added: “I allowed the peaceful rallies. But no one was given permission to rally with guns and swords in the name of Ram and enter the locality of other communities to harass or murder them.”