Kolkata, March 29 (IANS) Amid prevailing tensions over parts of Raniganj and adjoining areas in West Bengal’s Paschim Burdwan district following clashes over Ram Navami rallies, Union Minister Babul Supriyo was on Thursday not allowed to enter the area.
Citing security reasons, police stopped the car of the Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises as he tried to enter the Railpar area in the district.
“As a public representative, it is my duty to be with the people when they are in trouble and I have every right to visit my constituency. Police was saying that I would not be allowed to go as Section 144 is imposed in the area. Being a minister, I cannot violate rules,” said Supriyo who also engaged in verbal duel with police personnel surrounding his car.
Incidentally, a group of people raised slogans against the minister demanding that he should leave the area.
“People of #Ranigunj are attacked, police force is outnumbered and severely injured.And Mamata Government could only muster cutting off internet connectivity for 2 days? Because goons on the streets have been downloading weapons and bombs off the internet, is it now,” Supriyo, who is also the Asansol MP, said in a tweet later.
Actress-turned politician Locket Chatterjee, who is the state BJP Mahila Morcha President, who was supposed to visit Raniganj, was also stopped by police at Durgapur.
Several shops and houses were vandalised and set ablaze over the Ram Navami related clashes in parts of the district and police have arrested 19 people for fomenting trouble.
A clash also broke out between two groups centering a Ram Navmi procession in Raniganj on Monday. A person was allegedly hacked to death while a Deputy Commissioner of Police lost a hand after getting hit by a bomb.
According to police, no fresh incident of violence was reported from the area since last night.
Meanwhile, there was intense patrolling on Thursday by police in area, especially in the Dhadka area, where a police vehicle was vandalised and two Trinamool offices were set fire in violence over a Ram Navami procession on Tuesday.
The BJP, which is trying to pitchfork itself as the main challenger to the Trinamool in the state, has been using the Ram Navami celebrations since last year to appeal to the sentiments of the majority Hindu population.
Sensing the BJP’s motive, the ruling Trinamool Congress also resorted to celebrate the occasion massively on its own this year.