Disturbing visuals of arson and vandalism are coming out from different parts of the country on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami which is very unfortunate. There have been riots in parts of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. But the most controversial of all remains the ‘Friday Frenzy’ in Bengal where Islamists attacked unarmed Hindus at their residence after the Friday prayers.
Soon after the visuals of the attack went viral on the internet, the officials at Mamata Banerjee’s government and Mamata herself began accusing Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) volunteers of the attack. On the other hand, the BJP members shared clips and documents stating Mamata ‘Useless’ and demanded her resignation.
Following the Ram Navami clashes on March 30, Islamists attacked houses of Hindus in Bengal’s Shibpur and Sandhya Bazar area on March 31. The mob came out of the Mosque after Friday prayers and ransacked the public property.
Notably, the police watched the attack as mute spectators, there have been visuals where Rapid Action Force (RAF) officials can be seen standing idle while the attackers are vandalizing shops in the Sandhya Bazar area of Howrah city.
Amit Malviya, the BJP Information and Technology In-charge shared visuals from the Sandhya Bazar area quoting, “Situation is completely out of control in Howrah. Mobs turn violent. After attack on Ramnavami Shobha Yatra, fresh violence erupts in Shibpur area of Howrah. Media has been attacked. Law and order is a state subject and Bengal Home Minister Mamata Banerjee has failed completely”
The West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari while speaking with the media said, “Police are not doing its work. They are silent spectators. They are not doing anything. All houses of Hindus have been vandalised. All Hindus in the Kazipara area had to flee to save their lives”.
According to a report published by the news agency ANI, Adhikari also called police “silent spectators”. “Police is not doing their work. They are silent spectators. All the houses of Hindus have been vandalised. All Hindus in the Kazipara area had to flee for their lives,” he told ANI.
Instead of taking the situation under control and protecting the people living in these areas from the mobsters, Mamata from the protest site is making misleading comments.
She is making baseless allegations against volunteers of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) stating the attacks were planted by ‘BJP hired goons’.
“I have been busy protesting against lack of funds from the Centre for the last 48 hours, but I will ensure that the culprits get punished,” Mamata Banerjee said, urging people to maintain peace.
“One can easily understand the people who started the violence were not localities. They were hired by the BJP and were carrying guns and petrol bombs. They first attacked people from the minority communities,” she alleged.
“We never stopped any community to hold any event. It is highly unlikely that the minority groups could have started the clashes as they are busy with Ramzan prayers, we have arrested 31 people so far,” she added.
On March 30, the Shobha Yatra day Mamata said, “I want to request those who are taking out Ram Navami procession, please do but do it peacefully. Kindly avoid Muslim areas as Ramzan is going on. Celebrate peacefully but don’t try to create violence. Don’t get provoked. Some BJP leaders are saying they will move with swords and knives during the procession. I say criminal offence is an offence”.
Mamata alleged that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad members changed the route to target one community. She added, “Why did they change the route and take the unauthorised route to particularly target one community ?”
At a press conference on Friday, TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee went so far as to say the BJP had “pre-planned” the violence in Howrah to “spoil the atmosphere and create enmity among people”.
“Howrah violence was pre-planned. From Shyambazar, a BJP leader was asking people to keep their eyes on the television screens. Why? Just a day before, that leader met with the home minister,” Abhishek said, claiming that there were intelligence inputs suggesting that the violence was a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by the BJP.
Responding to Mamata’s fake allegations, the Organiser of the Yatra Indra Deo Dubey said, “We did not deviate from the route. We followed the route map for the yatra which was submitted to the authorities. We even sought permission from the Railways as we had to cross a railway gate so that the railways does not face any problems. We had repeatedly requested the Police to provide protection to the yatra near PS Shivpur as disturbance occurs near there every time. We had given every information to the administration regarding the banners which would be displayed and slogans that would be raised during the procession”.
Notably, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah called West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar and enquired about the law and order situation in West Bengal.
Majumdar said, “Amit Shah spoke to me over the phone and gave an assurance that he will monitor the entire situation and look into why the violence happened,” he said. “This whole violence has been orchestrated by Mamata Banerjee. She has done this to retain her Muslim votes because that vote bank is diminishing.”
Adhikari also filed a PIL before the Calcutta High Court regarding the incidents of violence in Howrah and Dalkhola, praying for an NIA probe and immediate deployment of central forces in affected areas. The PIL will be up for hearing on April 3.