Howrah: Situation in and around Kazipara here, which witnessed clashes between two groups during a procession on Ram Navami, is peaceful and under control as a large number of police remained deployed in the area Friday, a senior official of Howrah City Police said.
Searches and raids were conducted throughout the night in different pockets around Kazipara and 35 people have so far been arrested in connection with the clash, he added.
“The situation is under control and peaceful. There was no untoward event in the night. Heavy police deployment continues and senior police officers are present in the area. We have conducted raids in different places and arrested 35 people till now in connection with Thursday’s clash,” the official told PTI.
The identity of the detainees will be verified from video grabs and legal actions against the perpetrators will follow. He said.
Violence broke out on Thursday evening between two groups when a Ram Navami procession was taken out in the twin city of Howrah. Several vehicles, including some belonging to the police, were torched and shops and auto-rickshaws ransacked during the violence.
Four fire tenders were pressed into service to extinguish the blaze and the police used force to disperse the mob.
A large police contingent was deployed to restore peace in the locality.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was on a dharna in the city, said strict action will be taken against the culprits.
She slammed the BJP for allegedly trying to stoke communal tension during the Ram Navami procession in Howrah and asserted that those involved in the incident will not be spared.
Banerjee, who is also the state home minister, alleged that the BJP had hired goons from other states to orchestrate communal riots.
“Why did they change the route [at the last moment] and take the unauthorized route to target and attack one community? If they believe they will attack others and receive relief through legal interventions, they must know that the people will reject them one day,” she said.
Senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari dubbed the allegations as baseless.
The chief minister and the state administration are responsible for the violence, he claimed.
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