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Home Ministry Deploys CAPFs To West Bengal For Hanuman Jayanti, Asks All States To Enhance Vigil For Festival

Clashes and instances of fire-bombing were reported from Hooghly and Howrah districts of West Bengal over Ram Navami processions.

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Central Armed Police Forces have been deployed in West Bengal to assist the state police during Hanuman Jayanti, announced the Union home ministry, which on Wednesday also asked all states to ensure law and order during the festival in the wake of communal violence in Bengal and Bihar during Ram Navami.

Hanuman Jayanti will be observed on Thursday.

In a late evening tweet, a the home ministry spokesperson said: "Central Armed Police Forces deployed in West Bengal to assist state police in maintaining law and order during observance of Hanuman Jayanti".

Earlier, the ministry sent an advisory to states and Union territories aiming at sensitising law enforcement agencies following communal violence last week.

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"The MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) has issued an advisory to all states in preparation for Hanuman Jayanti. The governments are encouraged to ensure the maintenance of law and order, peaceful observance of the festival, and monitoring of any factors that could disturb communal harmony in society," the Home Minister's Office tweeted.

Clashes and instances of fire-bombing were reported from Hooghly and Howrah districts of West Bengal over Ram Navami processions, including on Monday night. Several vehicles were also torched and shops ransacked in Howrah.

Clashes were reported in West Bengal's Rishra on Sunday during a Ram Navami procession in which BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh and party's Pursurah MLA Biman Ghosh were present. The MLA was injured and hospitalised.

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Parts of nearby Serampore also witnessed incidents of vandalism following which prohibitory orders were imposed and Internet services suspended.

The violence led West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose to visit some of the violence-hit areas after Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to him.

On Tuesday, the Union home ministry also sought a detailed report from the West Bengal government on the communal violence.

Communal violence took place in Bihar's Sasaram and Biharsharif towns too on and after Ram Navami following which over 170 people were arrested.

Vehicles, houses and shops were torched and several people were injured in communal flare-ups reported in both towns on March 30 and 31.
Home Minister Shah expressed concern over the incidents and spoke to Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar to take stock of the situation.

The home ministry also sent additional paramilitary forces to Bihar to assist the state administration in handling the situation.

Shah had cancelled his proposed tour of Sasaram on April 2 after prohibitory orders were put in place in the town.

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