Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that a political party is trying to instigate communal enmity and spread violence in the name of “Ram”.

“Did Lord Ram ever say that armed rallies with pistols and swords should be organised in his name? We have read in our scriptures that Ram fought against Ravan with a bow and arrow. Some hooligans are trying to give Lord Ram a bad name. Should we leave law and order in their hands? Will they run the administration now?” she said, in an administrative review meeting of South 24 Parganas in Pailan.

She gave a stern warning to those who are indulging in “hooliganism in the name of religion”. “I’ll not tolerate any hooliganism in the name of religion as this is not Bengal’s culture,” she said.

The chief minister said: “Some unidentified people have come here from outside…These trouble-mongers holding pistols and swords are resorting to hooliganism. This is West Bengal. This is not our culture. We celebrate Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Ganpati puja peacefully. We also celebrate Ramzan and Christmas”.

Miss Banerjee on Monday directed the police to take strong action against those who carried swords and other weapons during Ram Navami processions in the state yesterday and not to spare anyone.

Without naming any particular political party, she said they were “using and selling” religion to continue their “business”.

She said if the police failed to take actions, steps would be taken against them.
“I am instructing all SPs to take strong action. Do not spare anyone. If I come to know that police is colluding with them, I will not spare the police either,” she said at the meeting.

The state government did not allow armed processions yesterday in the name of Lord Ram. “Nobody gave them the right to hold such processions defaming the name of Lord Ram and kill a person,” she said, adding peaceful processions were allowed.

People belonging to any community can organise processions and those who had organised rallies with arms on Ram Navami traditionally for the last 100 or 50 years or even for the last decade were permitted.

“Everyone is free to practice their religion. But carrying pistols and playing politics in the name of Ram will not be tolerated. No one has the right to kill someone of a different community,” Miss Banerjee said.

“Hindu religion has been practised by millions since ages. It has taught us tolerance.

“They are trying to win entire India through bloodshed. I am sorry to say,” she said.

“Some people are opening organisations with religious names and doing business in the name of religion. They are bringing shame to the religion. Ramakrishna Mission, Bharat Sevasram Sangha, Gangasagar ~ these are symbols of Hinduism.”

“Did Lord Ram ever carry a sword? They are importing a new religion (of violence)”, she said.

The administration has a responsibility. The death of a person in Purulia is akin to the death of my own family member. Whether he was Muslim, Hindu, Sikh of Christian is immaterial. Bengal will not tolerate this, she said.