Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister today directed the police to take strong action against those who carried swords and other weapons during Ram Navami processions in the state yesterday and not to spare anyone. Without naming any particular political party, she said they were “using and selling” religion to continue their business. “I am directing the DGP to instruct all the SPs to take strong action and not to spare anyone whoever he or she is. Law will take its own course. I will not tolerate this,” Banerjee said at a meeting.
She said if the police failed to take actions, steps would be taken against them. “Can we let them rule our state ? They are hooligans,” she said about those who carried the arms during the processions yesterday. One person was killed and five police personnel injured in clashes between two groups during a Ram Navami procession in Purulia as sword-wielding BJP supporters defied a government ban on armed rallies in several places of West Bengal on Sunday, police said today.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh was seen participating in a Ram Navami rally with a sword and a mace at Kharagpur while some other BJP leaders too participated in processions in which arms were carried. “It seemed that they were trying to teach us religion. Hindu religion has been practised by millions since ages. It has taught us tolerance. You cannot play politics with it. If you have to play politics, you have to do good for the people. Politics is for the welfare of the people. It is not to kill people…What we have seen yesterday is because of one political party”.
“They are trying to win the entire India through bloodshed. I am sorry to say,” she said. The chief minister said, “Some unidentified people have come here from outside…These trouble-mongers holding pistols and swords are resorting to hooliganism. This is West Bengal. This is not our culture. We celebrate Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Ganpati puja peacefully. We also celebrate Ramzan, Christmas.”
The state government did not allow armed processions yesterday in the name of Lord Ram. “Nobody gave them the right to hold such processions defaming the name of Lord Ram and kill a person,” she said, adding peaceful processions were allowed. People belonging to any community can organise processions and those who had organised rallies with arms on Ram Navami traditionally for the last 100 or 50 years or even for the last decade were permitted.>