Agencies: A day after a number of heavyweight state BJP leaders were seen participating in the Ram Navami procession with weapons, West Bengal Chief Minister on Monday wondered if “Lord Ram asked anybody to rally with arms and swords”.
Stating firmly that rallying with arms is not a part of Bengal’s culture, she instructed the state administration to take “strong action” against those who took out rallies with arms on occasion of Ram Navami, defying the state’s directive.
“Did Lord Ram ask anybody to rally with arms and swords? Can we leave the state’s administration and law and order in the hands of these hooligans, who are defaming Ram? I am instructing the DG (Director General of Police) and all the Police Superintendents to take strong action against such rallyists. No one should be spared.
“If anybody from the police force does any kind of understanding to overlook the issue, I will take action against them,” Banerjee said during the district level administrative meet in South 24 Parganas.
“People got scared seeing some rallies yesterday (Sunday). This is not the culture of Bengal. I am giving out a clear message that this will not be tolerated. They are doing business in the name of religion and maligning the religion. This issue cannot be left out for future. It has to dealt with strongly,” she thundered.
On Sunday, state BJP President Dilip Ghosh rallied with a sword in West Midnapore while party’s state women wing president Locket Chatterjee was seen carrying a trident. Party’s national secretary Rahul Sinha was also seen brandishing a weapon at a rally.
One person was killed and five police personnel were injured during a clash between two groups over a Ram Navami procession in Purulia district as sword-wielding BJP supporters came out in thousands to celebrate.