Calcutta HC observes that Ram Navami violence in West Bengal was prima facie ‘pre-planned’

On Monday (April 10), the Calcutta High Court noted that the violence orchestrated on the occasion of Ram Navami was prima-facie ‘pre-planned.’ It made the observations while listening to a plea by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari to transfer the probe in the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

A 2-Judge Bench of Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya and Acting Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam heard the matter. “Internet suspension usually takes place when there has been an external danger or infiltration etc,” the court asked.

“But for a religious procession, we don’t understand why (internet was suspended). Sudden violence is when people are walking and there is an altercation etc. But your (State’s) reports prima facie show these (violence) were all pre-planned,” Acting Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam added.

“There are allegations of stones being hurled from rooftops. Obviously, it is not possible for anyone to take stones up to the rooftop within 10 to 15 minutes,” he further pointed out.

The court also noted that violence, which took place during Ram Navami, happened on a ‘large scale.’ Meanwhile, Advocate General (West Bengal) SN Mookherjee accused the Hindu devotees of being armed with lathis and swords.

The Judges observed that incidents of violence during religious festivals in West Bengal had become a commonplace affair. “It appears a regular feature now. I think all religions…suppose the other community, even they have religious processions…”Acting Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam added.

“Every year there are 7 to 8 incidents of violence and then petitions are filed, a probe by the central agency is sought,” he stated. The court also sought to know whether there was a need for sensitisation of the police or any incapability on their part.

Ram Navami violence in West Bengal

On March 30 this year, stones were pelted on a Ram Navami procession from the terraces of the buildings in the Shibpur area of Howrah. This led to a clash between the Hindu and Muslim groups, leading to violence and arson. Vehicles and shops were also torched during the attack.

Several disturbing videos of the incident went viral on social media. A large contingent of police was deployed to contain the law and order situation in the area. The cops conducted a flag march, fired tear gas shells and chased away the rioters.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had insinuated that violence occurs when Hindus take out Ram Navami processions through ‘Muslim areas’ and also attempted to give a clean chit to the Islamists by invoking their Faith and Ramzan.

Source: OpIndia

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