A riot-like situation broke out in West Bengal’s Howrah district near Kolkata amid Ram Navami celebrations on Thursday. Videos circulating on social media platforms showed several vehicles set on fire and public property vandalised amid heavy police deployment in the area.
The violence erupted following clashes between two groups in Howrah.
#WATCH | West Bengal: Ruckus during 'Rama Navami' procession in Howrah; vehicles torched. Police personnel on the spot. pic.twitter.com/RFQDkPxW89— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2023
#WATCH | West Bengal: Police personnel conduct flag march after ruckus during 'Rama Navami' procession in Howrah where several vehicles were torched. pic.twitter.com/W845mdQQnQ— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2023
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the incident and accused the opposition BJP of “hiring goons from outside” and orchestrating communal riots in the state.
“They have been hiring goons from outside the state to orchestrate communal riots. Nobody has stopped their processions but they do not have the right to march with swords and bulldozers. How did they get the audacity to do this in Howrah?” the Trinamool Congress supremo was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Not just in West Bengal but similar clashes broke out in Gujarat’s Vadodara as well. Stones were hurled at two Ram Navami processions in Fatehpur area of Vadodara city today, police said, adding that some persons were injured in one of the incidents.
The procession that came under attack in Panjrigar mohalla had been organised by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), according to a PTI report. The other procession had been organised by local residents.
In Maharashtra, too, a clash left 12 injured in Aurangabad, including 10 policemen, after a mob of around 500 people went berserk and hurled stones and petrol-filled bottles near a Ram temple when the personnel tried to control the clash between two groups.
Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh, Ram Navami festivities were marred with violence as 11 devotees died after falling into a well at a temple. Nearly 30-35 devotees fell into the well after the roof of a well collapsed during a havan, a fire ritual, at Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple in Indore's Patel Nagar.
An eyewitness said the roof of the well caved in due to excess weight as a huge huge crowd of devotees gathered on it.