Durgapur News Desk, 06 April 2017: Several hundred people, including young men and women marched in with swords and tridents in rallies organised by VHP and RSS in Durgapur yesterday on the occasion of Rama Navami.
At Kada Road locality in Durgapur, young girls took part in processions, unfurling saffron flags in one hand and brandishing swords or similar weapons in the other. They shouted slogans like Jai Shri Ram, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, etc. glorifying Lord Ram and the country. A woman’s organisation owing allegiance to the saffron brigade organised the rally there, sources said.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress organised Hanuman Puja in several parts of the state yesterday, to counter BJP’s growing popularity after the landslide victory of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh election.
Until now, such armed rallies could only be witnessed in Bengal during the annual Muharram processions by the Muslims. Albeit for the past few years, instead of brandishing actual weapons, participants in Muharram processions have been gradually switching over to wooden or plastic replicas of the same.
Participants in the Durgapur procession were mainly teenage and college-going girls, sporting white salwar and saffron dhupatta, and had swords in their hand. Asansol, which is a neighbouring town of Durgapur, has a BJP MP and Union minister in Babul Supriyo.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who addressed an administrative public meeting at Bankura yesterday, hit out at the BJP accusing them of misusing Ram Navami. “This is a solemn festival that is being celebrated in Bengal for ages. Don’t hijack Ram Navami and do not try to incite communal tension,” she cautioned the saffron party.
Upbeat by the turnout in the processions, Bengal BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that it was “a good sign that Hindu population in Bengal has gained courage and was trying to unite by taking up arms.”
On the other hand, Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid, Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati, at another press conference said that RSS should be banned in India. “RSS is a threat to India and just as the US banned Taliban, RSS should be banned in the country. I will talk to the CM and request her to ban RSS in Bengal, because it is spreading communal tension everywhere,” Barkati said on the sidelines of the press conference.