Howrah (West Bengal) [India], March 31 (ANI): Organiser of the Shobha Yatra in West Bengal’s Howrah and Vishva Hindu Parishad leader Inderdev Dubey on Friday claimed that they did not deviate from the approved route and had sought permission from the authorities in advance.
The organiser claimed that Trinamool Congress conducted a yatra ahead of the VHP’s yatra, following which the incident of stone pelting occurred.
Dubey’s claims came after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said, “Why did they change the route and take the unauthorised route to particularly target and attack one community?”
Several vehicles were set on fire after two groups clashed in West Bengal’s Howrah amid Ram Navami celebrations. During the procession, the rioters vandalized public and private properties and set vehicles on fire.
Speaking to the reporters, Dubey claimed that they had sought police protection near a particular area on the route of the yatra, where he alleged disturbances occur every time.
“We did not deviate from the route. We followed the route map for the yatra which was submitted to the authorities. We even sought permission from the Railways as we had to cross a railway gate, so that railways does not face any problems. We had repeatedly requested the Police to provide protection to the yatra near PS Shivpur as disturbance occurs near there every time. We had given every information to the administration regarding the banners which would be displayed and slogans that would be raised during the procession,” the organiser of the Shobha yatra claimed.
“Before our procession, there was a procession of the West Bengal government. We did not have any information about it. The procession is carried out (by TMC) strategically and then the incident took place,” he added.
VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain lashed out at Mamata and alleged that she wanted to “protect the attackers”.
“Over 50,000 Shobha Yatras were conducted across the country of which over 2,000 were in West Bengal. But unfortunately, attacks were done by miscreants at some places and violence was incited. Why are such incidents reported only on Ram Navami? When some secular leaders provoke them for vote bank, they get the opportunity to provoke,” Jain said in a video.
“What was the need for Mamata Banerjee to say that she would not stop the Ram Navami processions but if attacks are carried out on the Muslim community, she will take action? Does she have any examples? She wants to protect the attackers and threaten the victims. There should be peace across the country,” he added.
Clashes were witnessed in some places of the country during the processions including Gujarat’s Vadodara, West Bengal’s Howrah, and Mumbai’s Malvani area.
“Tension prevailed for some time during the Ram Navami procession in Mumbai’s Malvani area but the police handled it and the situation is under control,” DCP Ajay Bansal said on Thursday.
Some of the participants alleged stone pelting, which created panic among people, DCP Bansal added.
Meanwhile, in Vadodara, at least 22 people have been caught for allegedly pelting stones during a procession in the Fatehpura area of Vadodara, officials said on Friday.
A man was reportedly injured in the stone pelting incident that took place on Thursday on the occasion of Ram Navami.
West Bengal Police on Thursday conducted a flag march in Howrah where violence broke out during a Ram Navami procession.
During the procession, the rioters vandalized public and private properties and set vehicles on fire. (ANI)