Bengal Communal violence: Clash-hit Raniganj limps back to normalcy

Kolkata, March 30 : Parts of Raniganj in West Bengal’s Paschim Burdwan district that remained tense for most of this week following clashes over Ram Navami rallies limped back to normalcy on Friday even as large number of police and para-military forces continued to be deployed in the area to prevent any breach of peace.

“We are maintaining a tight vigil. The situation is normal. No further untoward incidents have happened so far,” a police officer from the district said.

A large number of security personnel were deployed on the streets of Raniganj while a section of shops opened their shutters after remaining closed for the last five days.

“Things are slowly becoming normal. We could not come out of our houses since the clash broke out. Today I am able to go to office,” a commuter said.

The internet services remained suspended even on Friday.

Meanwhile, a four-member committee formed by BJP President Amit Shah is set to visit the trouble hit areas of Raniganj on Sunday and submit a report, a leader of the party’s state unit said.

The committee, led by BJP Vice President Om Mathur, also has former Union Minister Shahnawaz Hussain and MPs Roopa Ganguly and B.D. Ram.

A clash broke out between two groups centring a Ram Navami procession in Raniganj on Monday. A person was allegedly hacked to death while a Deputy Commissioner of Police lost a hand after getting hit by a bomb.

The Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the state government on incidents of arson and violence during the processions.

The Trinamool Congress government blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party for the unrest.

Several shops and houses were vandalised and set ablaze during the clashes in parts of Paschim Bardhaman district. Police have arrested 19 people for fomenting trouble.

Five police personnel were injured as clashes broke out over a Ram Navami rally organised by the saffron outfit and the Sangh affiliates in an area in Purulia district.

The BJP, which is trying to pitchfork itself as the main challenger to the Trinamool in the state, has been using the Ram Navami celebrations since last year to appeal to the sentiments of the majority Hindu population.

Sensing the BJP’s motive, the Trinamool also resorted to celebrate the occasion massively on its own this year.

(IANS)

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