Ram Navami communal violence: Sec 144 imposed in Bihar’s Aurangabad

85473-poijuayzrj-1522084671Following a clash between members of two communities during Ram Navami celebrations, prohibitory orders have been clamped in Bihar’s Aurangabad town, an official said.

Meanwhile, trouble over Ram Navami processions continued in West Bengal as members of saffron outfits clashed with the police in Murshidabad and Bardhaman West districts, resulting in a senior police officer losing his hand when a bomb was hurled at him.

In Bihar’s Aurangabad, people from both sides indulged in heavy stone-pelting and arson, which left several persons injured and nearly a dozen shops gutted on Sunday while a Ram Navami procession was being taken out.

“We have clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC. The situation in the town is tense but under control,” PTI quoted Aurangabad District Magistrate Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal as saying.

The issue led to a heated exchange in the Bihar Assembly where the Leader of Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, alleged that for the past several hours riots had been taking place at Aurangabad and shops belonging to a community were being set afire and curfew had to be imposed.

Yadav made the allegations while state minister Vijender Yadav was reading out the governments reply to the debate on the budgetary allocation for the home department.

A visibly upset chief minister rose to intervene and said the floor of the House must not be used to give publicity to rumours which could aggravate communal tensions.

Kumar said Ram Navami had passed off peacefully in Bihar “with a few exceptions” and asserted that there was no report of curfew or police firing in Aurangabad.

In West Bengal, one person was killed and five police personnel were injured on Sunday in a clash between two groups in Purulia as sword-wielding BJP supporters defied the state governments ban on armed rallies on Ram Navami, media reports said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly directed the director general of police (DGP) to instruct all the superintendents of police (SPs) to take strong action against those who carried arms in the rallies.

“The law will take its own course. I will not tolerate this,” she said at a meeting at Pailan, near here, adding that action would be taken against the police if they failed to take measures in this regard.

An FIR has been lodged against BJP state president Dilip Ghosh under non-bailable sections, PTI quoted West Mindapore district Superintendent of Police Alok Rajoria as saying.

Ghosh had purportedly been seen participating in a Ram Naami rally with a sword and a mace at Kharagpur in West Midnapore district on Sunday.