Ten people were arrested on Saturday after violence erupted in the Muslim-dominated Telinipara area in Hooghly district the previous night. Several houses and shops were gutted and some people suffered minor injuries. Police later brought the situation under control and deployed a strong force in the area.
The incident is the first in which police had to resort to arrests after the Sangh parivar and BJP-backed outfits started holding Ram Navami processions in different districts earlier this week. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had then said the processions were the part of the BJP’s bid to “appropriate” the festival and “incite violence”.
According to police, a group heading to a Ram Navami procession on Friday was stopped by another at Telinipara’s Rajabazar area in the evening. The area happens to have a mosque.
Soon, the groups were joined by more people and the situation turned violent. Police sources reported that some from both groups pelted stones at each other and went on to burn down houses and shops in the area.
Police, including senior officers, rushed to the spot and had to resort firing tear gas at the mob to disperse them. Police sources claimed that some in the mob hurled bombs. Three fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames.
“We have arrested 10 people under section of rioting. They all are locals,” a senior police officer told The Sunday Express. Raids are on to arrest more people for creating trouble in the area, he added.
Around six persons were injured in the clash and were taken to Chandannagar Sub-divisional hospital.
As per the locals, shops in the area remained shut on Saturday.