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Susmita Bhattacharia | HENB | Kolkata | March 26, 2018:: Ram Navami organised in a huge scale in West Bengal on Sunday as politicians sought to outdo each other in proving their devotion to one of the foremost icons of the Hindu pantheon, Lord Ram on his birthday celebration. RSS, VHP, Bajrangdal, Sri Ram Navmi Mahotsav Samity, Ram Sena and many other Hindutva outfits jointly formed the rallies with weapons in most of the places where BJP leaders and members participated to encash Hindu Vote Bank of Bengal in upcoming Panchayet election in the state. TMC organised counter Ramnavmi in many places to confuse the Hindus as the party is not only ‘pro-Muslim’.
In defiance of the state government’s ban, Hindutva forces and ‘anti-Hindutva’ TMC party both organised armed rallies across West Bengal on the occasion of Ram Navami to show their own strength in the name of Ram.
In Purulia, one Muslim died in a Ram Navmi clash occured in Purulia district. Police said Sheikh Sahjahan (50) died after he was trapped in a clash between Bajrang Dal activists and police forces in Purulia district on Sunday afternoon. The incident occurred in Beldi village, under Arsha police station, a Muslim-dominated area.
“The clashes broke out when the police were trying to stop some people from taking part in an armed procession. Preliminary investigations revealed that Sahjahan suffered fatal injuries after he was trapped in the clashes. He was rushed to a district hospital where he was declared dead,” said Joy Biswas, SP, Purulia.
He said five policemen were also injured. “We have arrested 16 persons in this connection so far. The situation at Beldi continues to be tense and additional police forces have been deployed there,” he said.
A police source said while it was not clear how Sahjahan died, he appeared to have been beaten up with sticks.
After news of the death spread, some villagers reportedly had an altercation with DSP Subrata Pal and other policemen and later beat them up. “Five policemen have been injured, including a DSP who is critical and has been shifted to SSKM Hospital,” said Anuj Sharma, ADG, Law and Order.
Earlier in the day, announcing his party’s decision to defy the state government’s ban on armed processions, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said: “We will bring out processions with swords, tridents and maces throughout the state. If they try to stop us, there will be trouble. There is a tradition of carrying arms, and we will follow it. The Ram Mandir will soon come up.” Carrying a sword, Ghosh later participated in a rally in Kharagpur, in West Midnapore district — his assembly constituency.
Police sources said even schoolchildren were seen carrying knives, swords and tridents in some districts of the state, including at Chinsurah in Hooghly district, where the rally was led by senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha. Minor scuffles were reported from Chinsurah and Muslim-dominated Qazipara in Howrah district.
“People of Bengal will not accept this politics on Ram. Ram is revered and worshipped across the country and they (BJP) are celebrating it with DJs and music. This is an insult,” said TMC leader and State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee.
“Involving minors in an armed procession is a serious offence and those who are responsible should be punished. I have asked the district magistrate and police personnel to take action,” said West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Ananya Chatterjee.
Meanwhile, TMC leaders Saugata Roy, Bratya Basu, Gautam Deb and Asish Banerjee were among those who participated in Ram Navami rallies across the state. “No one can claim ownership of Ram. What they are doing in the name of Ram Navami is sheer hooliganism. What we have done is in accordance with our culture. We have taken out rallies in a pleasant environment and concluded it peacefully,” said TMC’s North Bengal MLA Sourav Chakraborty.
Police sources said at least two Ram Navmi rallies of TMC, in North 24 Parganas, were armed rallies.
Police sources also said, defying the ban on carrying weapons in public, several armed rallies were taken out by Sangh affiliates in various parts of the state, including Nadia, Birbhum, Bakura, East and West Midnapore, Purulia, North and South 24 Parganas, Coochbehar, North & South Dinajpur districts and certain areas in Kolkata.
Huge gathering and participation of women folk in the Ramnavami Rallies reported from Howrah and South 24 Parganas. While Uluberia (Howrah) Ram Navami Rally crossed 50000 gathering, Mandirbazar-Lakshmikantapur Rally crossed the limit of 25000, Diamond Harbour Ram Navmi Rally crossed the 15000 limit.
The pro-Muslim writers and so called beef eater intellectuals in Bengal started barking against ‘Armed’ Ram Navmi Rallies in Bengal. ‘Intellectually Paralyzed’ Poet Sankha Ghost condemned such Ram Navmi Rallies ‘devoid from devotion’. “This Ram Navmi Politics and the Counter Ram Navmi by TMC are both the type of political bankruptcy and reflection of corruption,” said Sankha Ghost.
Incidentally, Sankha Ghosh supported the bloody politics of the left for many years and now closer to TMC’s politics of minority appeasement. How this old crooked guy dare to utter words on corruption and bankruptcy in politics?
While these intellectual maroons and the WB Child Rights chairperson are jointly opposing the Juvenile participation in Ram Navmi Rallies with arms; public is asking, where they stay at the time of Muharam Rallies where the participation of Muslim juveniles with arms and bloodshed in the roads, streets and lanes are commonly seen in Bengal every year?
Upananda Brahmachari, the famed Hindu interlocutor and inspiration of many Ram Navmi Ralies in West Bengal, told HENB, “Through Ram Navmi Hindus in Bengal proved two things. i) Hindus can be driving force in Bengal politics as they enforced CM Mamata Banerjee to design TMC Ram Navmi to counter Hindu Ram Navmis and ii) Bengali Hindus and especially the women folk do not forget the Hindu warrior spirit. Finally, they have reclaimed their rights to self esteem and protection. They possess their arms for the protection of self and society”.
“There is no alternative than Revival of Hindu warrior spirit in Bengali Hindus to combat the Jihadi upraise in Bengal under TMC patronage. Ram Navmi Rallies in Bengal reflect the Hindu resentment against the Jihadi Politics of TMC. “, Brahmachari added.
__inputs from Indian Express and TOI.