New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee urged the people of the state to celebrate Ram Navami in a peaceful manner and refrain from triggering any kind of violence while taking out the processions, news agency ANI reported.
“I want to request those who are taking out Ram Navami procession, please do but do it peacefully. Kindly avoid Muslim areas as Ramzan is going on. Celebrate peacefully but don’t try to create violence. Don’t get provoked. Some BJP leaders are saying they will move with swords and knives during the procession. I say criminal offence is an offence,” ANI quoted CM Mamata Banerjee as saying.
Meanwhile, Ram Navami was marked with leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and RSS leading processions in different parts of West Bengal on Thursday.
The RSS organised 1,000 large and small processions across the state, spokesperson Sourish Mukhopadhyay said.
Chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, several people took part in the Ram Navami processions in Howrah, Kharagpur, Barrackpore, Bhadreswar, Siliguri and Asansol.
Sounds of drumbeats, saffron flags and large cutouts of Lord Ram could be seen in these processions. Some of those participating in the Ram Navami processions were also armed with swords.
BJP leader Sajal Ghosh, who took part in one such rally in Howrah’s Ramrajatala, said there was a need to use such weapons against the evil. “Lord Rama had used weapons to vanquish the demons,” said Ghosh, a corporator of Kolkata.
BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh also performed puja at the 300-year-old Ram Mandir in Ramrajatala. “Ramrajatala is named after Lord Ram but the TMC and Left want to teach us that Ram is not the culture of Bengal. Ram is an outsider according to them,” he said.
State BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar led Ram Navami processions in Itahar in Uttar Dinajpur and Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district.
Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari also took part in a Ram Navami procession in his constituency Nandigram in Purba Medinipur.
Taking to Twitter, Adhikari wrote, “It was an absolute delight to serve Maha Prashad to the devotees & Ram Bhakts.”
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Arjun Singh also participated in a Ram Navami procession organised by a religious outfit in Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district.