Advice to the Center for States on Hanuman Jayanti in the wake of the Bengal and Bihar violence

Advice to the Center for States on Hanuman Jayanti in the wake of the Bengal and Bihar violence

Clashes erupted during a Ram Navami procession in Bengal’s Rishra on Sunday

New Delhi:

Centralized armed police forces have been deployed in West Bengal to support state police during Hanuman Jayanti, the Union Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday, which also called on all states to maintain law and order during the festival following communal violence in Bengal and Bihar during Ram Navami.

Hanuman Jayanti will be observed on Thursday.

In a late evening tweet, the Interior Ministry spokesman said, “Centralized Armed Police Forces are deployed in West Bengal to assist State Police in maintaining law and order during Hanuman Jayanti observance.”

Earlier, the department sent a recommendation to states and union territories to raise awareness among law enforcement agencies following last week’s communal violence.

“The MHA (Ministry of Interior) issued a recommendation to all states in preparation for Hanuman Jayanti. Governments are encouraged to ensure the maintenance of law and order, the peaceful observance of the festival and the monitoring of any factors that may disrupt communal harmony in society,” the Home Secretary’s office tweeted.

Clashes and incidents of firebombing were reported from Hooghly and Howrah districts in West Bengal during Ram Navami processions, including on Monday night. Several vehicles were also set on fire and shops were looted in Howrah.

Clashes were reported Sunday in Rishra in West Bengal during a Ram Navami procession attended by BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh and the party’s Pursurah MLA Biman Ghosh. The MLA was injured and hospitalized.

Parts of nearby Serampore have also witnessed incidents of vandalism, resulting in bans being imposed and internet services being suspended.

The violence prompted West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose to visit some of the areas affected by the violence after the Union Home Secretary Amit Shah spoke to him.

On Tuesday, the Union Home Office also asked for a detailed report from the West Bengal government on the communal violence.

Community violence also erupted in and after Ram Navami in the towns of Sasaram and Biharsharif in Bihar, resulting in the arrests of over 170 people.

Vehicles, homes and businesses were set on fire and several people were injured in communal flare-ups reported in both cities on March 30 and 31.

Interior Minister Amit Shah expressed concern about the incidents and spoke to Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar to take stock of the situation.

The Interior Ministry also dispatched additional paramilitary forces to Bihar to help the state administration deal with the situation.

Mr Shah canceled his scheduled tour of Sasaram on April 2 after prohibition orders were issued in the city.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated feed.)

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