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Ram Navami violence: Heavy police force deployed

Statesman News Service | Raniganj |

Heavy police force was deployed on Tuesday in the Raniganj area of Burdwan West district, a day after clashes broke out between two groups over a Ram Navami procession, killing one person and injuring two police officers, a district official said.

Asansol Durgapur Police has arrested 19 people so far and Rapid Action Force (RAF) jawans and police has been jointly flag marching in the Raniganj town led by police commissioner Lakshmi Narayan Meena.

In the clash on Monday, one potter, Manoj Mondal (50) was killed when he fell in between the clash. His dead body has been sent to Asansol District Hospital for post mortem, police sources said.

No shops and offices have been opened on Tuesday in Raniganj and vehicles on the National Highway 60 are also very low compared to other days.

State Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak, who rushed to Raniganj last evening, said Mahesh Mandal, a man in his mid-50s, was hacked to death during the clashes.

Ghatak, however, assured the local people that the situation had been largely brought under control by the police.

School board exam students have, however, been able to go to their respective examination centres.

Though there has been no report of any untoward incidents at night, but from on Tuesday morning fresh troubles have been reported from Girjapara, Collegepara, Hill Bustee, Rajbari, Hatia, Ballavpur areas.

The situation is still very tensed. There has been no reports of any further injuries.Asansol Durgapur Police and Burdwan West District administration have been announcing in the areas with public address systems urging people to keep peace. Section 144 is still imposed in large parts of Raniganj town.

Talking to The Statesman, Mr Lakhsmi Narayan Meena, police commissioner of Asansol Durgapur Police Comissionerate said RAF jawans are route marching in the area and mobile vehicles have been patrolling and guarding the sensitive areas.

The power is off since last night in large parts including Burrabazar and Hattola areas, cable television connections have also been snapped.

Meanwhile, The Mission Hospital in Durgapur formed a three member medical board for the treatment of injured deputy commissioner of police (head quarters), Arindam Dutta Choudhury.

His condition is still very critical and he is in a state of trauma. “We have already conducted one operation on his right hand on Monday and nothing can be said right now,”said Dr. Partha Pal, medical superintendent of the hospital.

Asansol MP and union minister of state for heavy industries and public sector
enterprises, Babul Supriyo has sent a detailed report about Raniganj incident to union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday apprising him of the present situation.

Mr Babul Supriyo alleged that police has arrested innocent people and the real culprits are yet to be nabbed. He will meet the police commissioner this evening.

Asansol Mayor, Jitendra Tewari claimed that the situation is peaceful and under control. On Monday bottles and bombs were hurled and bullets fired at police when the police went to stop the clashes.

Raniganj Police, detective department of ADPC both have failed to get prior information though it seemed that the incident was pre-planned.