Though violence-hit pockets at Raniganj-Asansol region cried out for quick restoration of order which still eludes the busy coal belt despite heavy police bandobast, the Bengal Government on Wednesday turned down Centre's offer to deploy paramilitary forces saying its own police force was sufficiently capable of handling the grim situation.
The West Burdwan district administration ceased all Ram Navami marches in Asansol after two groups clashed over a procession. Peace has been restored with additional police forces patrolling the area, District Magistrate Shashanka Shetty said.
According to the media, the Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the West Bengal government to send a report about the incidents, the steps being taken to restore normalcy and the action taken against those involved in the violence.
The TMC in a bid to counter the rallies by the BJP and Sangh affiliates took out colourful processions and organised Ram Puja in various parts of the state and said, "BJP won't be able to use Ram Navami as an excuse to divide the people of the state". One villager was killed reportedly killed in this hostility and three police officers have injured also. "Sixteen persons have been arrested". "Senior police officers, who are camping here in the aftermath of the violence, are monitoring the situation very closely", he added. "The police had to baton-charge the agitators", he said.
Union minister and Asansol MP (BJP) Babul Supriyo, who was supposed to participate in one the rallies in Raniganj but backed out at the last moment, alleged that it was a "premeditated attack, meant to hurt me".
Notably, the state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had last week said that the government will not allow participants to carry arms in the Ram Navami rallies barring some organisations which have been organising such rallies for a long time.