After bearing the brunt of the violence over Ram Navami processions, West Bengal seems to be returning to normalcy, albeit slowly.
The violence had spread to many parts of the state including Purulia, Murshidabad, Bardhman West and Raniganj that led to the killing of three persons with severe injuries to around 20 people including 6 policemen
Though the violence has ebbed, the politics over the violence has intensified in the state.
The West Bengal Police today stopped Union Minister Babul Supriyo from visiting a relief camp in Asansol.
The Union Minister, who also represents Asansol in Lok Sabha, wanted to meet people of riot-affected Kalyanpuri but the police denied permission citing challenges on the law and order front.
A verbal spat also took place between Babul Supriyo and police officers after which a visibly upset Babul wondered how would state police behave with a common man if it could be so rude to an MP.
“I’m trying to call SP and DM since morning. People say police was not present in the area at the time of violence. The police have encircled me as if I’m a criminal,” Babul Supriyo said.
Referring to Mamata Banerjee’s recent visit to New Delhi where she met many prominent opposition leaders in her efforts to unite anti-Modi forces, the BJP has alleged that the West Bengal chief minister was busy with politicking at a time when the state was engulfed in the fire of communal violence.
However, the ruling TMC accused the BJP of trying to stop West Bengal from moving ahead on the path of economic development.
On Thursday, West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi appealed for peace and said everybody should perform their religious practices peacefully.
“There should not be any riot or violence. And people should perform their religious practice peacefully,” Tripathi said.
When asked whether he has any piece of advice for the state government, Tripathi said, “whatever I have to say to the state government, I’ll communicate separately”.
Heavy police force was deployed in the Raniganj area of West Bengal on Tuesday after clashes broke out between two groups on Monday over a Ram Navami procession, killing one person and injuring two police officers, a district official said.
In another incident, one person was killed and five police personnel were injured in group clash in Purulia.
Sword-wielding BJP supporters had defied the state government’s ban on armed rallies on Ram Navami.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had directed the director general of police to instruct all superintendents of police to take strong action against those who carried arms in the rallies.
Meanwhile, the Centre on Wednesday sought a report from the West Bengal government on incidents of arson and violence during Ram Navami processions in the last two days and offered assistance to deal with the situation, an official spokesperson said.
In a communication, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked the West Bengal government to send a report about the incident, the steps being taken to restore normalcy and the action taken against those involved in the violence.
The Centre also offered assistance of paramilitary forces in the light of reports of continuing violence and tension in some districts of the state, the MHA spokesperson said.
Watch Video: Situation under control in Asansol, section 144 imposed in the city, internet services suspended