Attempts to create communal tension reported during Ram Navami celebration in parts of Bengal and UP

Men were seen brandishing swords at a Ram Navami rally in Bengal despite specific directions to the contrary by the Kolkata HC, while a mob of Bajrang Dal members started sloganeering in Kaushambi, UP; habitual offender T Raja Singh leads rally, uploaded video of his presence even after being denied participation permission to participate in a rally by the Hyderabad police in Telangana
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As with every year of late, tensions remained high in some parts of the country on the occasion of Ram Navami celebration as men engaged in sloganeering and masculinist display of arms in Bengal and Kaushambi. In Telangana, T. Raja Singh, notorious for delivering hate speeches on multiple occasions, was seen participating a Ram Navami celebration even has police denied him the permission for the rally. 

In Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh (UP) a group of Bajrang Dal members were seen provocatively shouting and sloganeering just near the Mosque in Muratganj area at the time of Zohr (afternoon) namaz. In Bengal, a video emerged of men and women taking out a grand rally celebrating Ram Navami, even as some of them could be seen flaunting weapons, including sickle and trident, in defiance of numerous court orders, where the courts have urged the State to ensure that no arms or weapons are carried out in the rallies. While no instance of violence or escalation was reported in these incidents, in at two of these incidents, the presence of communal elements like Bajrang Dal and Raja Singh suggests attempts to vitiate the harmonious religious environment. In fact, T. Raja Singh went on social media to ask his supporters to participation in the Ram Navami rally, after Hyderabad Police cancelled his rally, and eventually uploaded a video of his participation in the crowded rally as the “reaction” to the “action” of the police denying his own rally. 

In the morning, Indian Express reported that Bengal remained on high alert as police fortified the State with all its resources to prevent any untoward incidents or breach of law and order. Reportedly, some 5000 rallies were planned this Ram Navami in the state of West Bengal by Hindu Jagran Manch, an extremist Hindu right-wing organisation. 

Just yesterday the Calcutta High Court had also allowed the rallies to taken out by Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Anjani Putra Sena on their originally planned route on the occasion of Ram Navami, but had cautioned the organisers and administration to make sure that no breach of law and order takes place, no arms are flaunted and no DJs join rally. 

In addition, the Ranchi Police (Jharkand) had used drones to detect the presence of stones on the terraces of some of the residents a day before Ram Navami, and had sent notices to the homeowners instructing them to remove stones from their roofs and “warned them if any dispute arises during the procession, they will be held accountable”, The Free Press Journal reported.


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