A CLASH broke out allegedly between members of two communities on Sunday night, after one of them refused to donate for the Ram Navami celebrations in Dashbaga, Howrah. Three persons — identified as Debashish Pramanik, Surojit Roy and Jadav Pramanik — have been arrested. Sources claimed Surojit and Jadav are BJP workers.
“One group was collecting donations for celebration of Ram Navami. When they asked some persons belonging to the other group to donate, the latter refused. Soon, it turned into a clash. An auto-rickshaw parked near Bauria station was vandalised. The situation is still tense,” a local told The Indian Express.
Police, however, said that the clash was not communal, and that small incidents are often “given a communal colour to settle political scores”. “It was a clash between two groups. So far, we have arrested three people. One person was injured. We are conducting raids to find out who else was involved in the incident,” said Sumit Kumar, SP (Rural) Howrah, adding that the situation was under control. A large number of police and RAF personnel have been deployed in the area.
The state BJP claimed that the clash was politically motivated. “Ruling parties have been trying to keep Howrah rural area under tension, since our members are growing in the area. We believe in peace,” said Anupam Mondal, BJP president of Howrah (Rural).
According to sources, the RSS is likely to take out rallies and meetings all over the state on April 5 to celebrate Ram Navami, the day lord Ram was born. Police are therefore keeping a strong vigil in Howrah (rural) area, which has a 46 per cent minority population, and has witnessed communal violence in the past.
“BJP’s massive win in Uttar Pradesh has started to have an impact in West Bengal. The party had taken out a bike rally in Dashbaga on Sunday to celebrate its victory in UP. We are monitoring every movement and our purpose is just to maintain peace,” said an official on condition of anonymity.