The police on Saturday carried out a baton charge to disperse a group of people who were shouting “Jai Shri Ram” during a demonstration at Kanchrapara in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, IANS reported.
The demonstration was held outside the house of Trinamool Congress leader and state minister Sujit Bose’s home in Kanchrapara. Several other leaders such as Jyotipriya Mallick, Madan Mitra, Vidyapar Taposh Roy and Nirmal Ghosh were meeting at Bose’s home, according to ANI.
Alleged BJP workers also tried to block the road when the Trinamool leaders were passing and heckled them, following which the police forcibly dispersed them. Authorities had to deploy the Rapid Action Force to finally clear the area.
Mallick called the demonstration “uncivilised and barbaric”. The Trinamool Congress leaders were reportedly meeting to chalk out strategies to take back the party offices that were allegedly occupied by BJP workers.
“The party office in Kanchrapara Thana More belonged to Shubhrangshu Roy [BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son, who recently joined the BJP],” an unnamed BJP worker told IANS. “After he joined the BJP, Trinamool is trying to occupy the party office but we will not let that happen.”
Newly-elected BJP MP Arjun Singh also claimed that his party will send 10 lakh post cards with “Jai Shri Ram” written on them to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, PTI reported. Singh moved from the Trinamool Congress to the BJP earlier this year, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Kanchrapara comes under his Barrackpore parliamentary constituency.
Last month, Banerjee reportedly lost her cool at least twice while some men shouted “Jai Shri Ram” around her. On Thursday, some people reportedly chanted the slogan when her motorcade passed through Bhatpara area, after which she got off her car and reprimanded them. The slogans, however, resumed soon after. The police arrested ten people for several petty crimes the next day, but the BJP claimed that the two incidents are connected.
On May 4, a video of Banerjee went viral showing her reprimanding a group of people who were chanting “Jai Shri Ram” as her convoy passed them. Soon after the incident, reports said that three people were taken into custody.
The slogan was a topic in West Bengal during the elections, with Bharatiya Janata Party leaders such as Amit Shah saying Hindu deity Ram is the idol of every Indian and often asking why West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was having a problem with the chanting of “Jai Shri Ram”.