Millennium Post

Mamata hits out at BJP for brandishing swords at Ram Navami rally

An FIR was on Thursday registered against West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh for leading a rally with swords on the occasion of Ram Navami in Kharagpur on Wednesday.

Police said they lodged the FIR based on complaints filed by local residents in Kharagpur.

Anuj Sharma, ADG (Law and Order), said: "Taking out procession with deadly weapons is illegal.We are taking appropriate legal action on complaints being received in concerned Police stations over the issue. Law will take its own course. We are keeping a close watch on the situation."

Earlier on Thursday, addressing a rally at Purulia, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said: "It is not the culture of the Hindus to carry swords in religious processions and some BJP leaders and workers were found carrying swords and other weapons in the Ram Navami procession on Wednesday. The law will take its course as carrying weapons in Hindu religious processions is illegal. What will happen if people belonging to other religions want to carry weapons in processions," she said. As BJP is in power at the Centre, its followers in the state feel that they can do whatever they like. "But this will not be tolerated and law will take its own course as no one is above law," Banerjee pointed out.

She said the way BJP had carried out Ram Navami procession it appeared as if they had some sort of monopoly over Lord Rama. For generations, Rama Navami has been observed in Ramrajatala in Howrah and "I observed Basanta Puja before I left my home in Kolkata," chief minister said.

BJP leaders in various parts in the state particularly in Islampur and Siliguri were found carrying swords in the Ram Navami procession. The state president of BJP Dilip Ghosh was seen holding a club at a procession in Kharagpur.

Banerjee said as per Hindu mythology, Lord Rama had carried sword and bow and arrow and his sole purpose was to kill Ravana who had unleashed a reign of terror. "The weapons look good in the hands of Goddess Durga as she used them to kill evil. But, they do not look good and proper in the hands of those who are using religion to divide people." Banerjee said: "Lord Rama had used flowers to worship and his so called followers are using weapons to scare people." She said the Sikhs carried kirpans in their processions "and this is absolutely legal."

Banerjee said people in Bengal believed in the philosophy of love and cooperation. "If I meet with an accident and two men run to the blood bank to donate blood for me then will the doctor ask them which religion they belong to," she asked. She said the people would foil any effort to divide Bengal on the basis of religion. She asked people not to get provoked by those who "use religion for political benefit."

Justifying the carrying of swords by BJP leaders and workers in Ram Navami procession, Rahul Sinha, former state president of the party said "Just as we played with swords in our childhood, our leaders and supporters carried swords in the procession. These were not weapons."

Partha Chatterjee, Trinamool Congress secretary general condemned the carrying of swords by BJP leaders and workers and maintained that it was illegal to carry weapons.
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