Armed Ram Navami rallies: Don’t spare anyone, CM Mamata Banerjee tells police

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh and state Mahila Morcha chief Locket Chatterjee were on Monday booked for allegedly carrying arms during Ram Navami rallies, even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjeedirected the police to not spare anyone who carried swords and other weapons during such processions in the state on Sunday.

Ghosh was booked at Kharagpur Town police station for allegedly carrying a sword at a rally in West Midnapore’s Kharagpur — his assembly constituency. “A case has been lodged against Dilip Ghosh under Section 153 AA (punishment for knowingly carrying arms in any procession or organising) of IPC and Arms Act,” said Y Raghuvanshi, the Kharagpur Additional SP.

Earlier in the day, Chatterjee was booked by the Birbhum police for carrying a ‘trishul’ during a Ram Navami procession in the district on Sunday. She was booked under sections 144 (unlawful assembly with deadly weapon), 153A (attempts to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity between different religion), 186-188 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and the Arms Act.

“Except one person, no one was carrying arms in the rally. Local residents had obeyed the order except one from outside… She didn’t abide by the order. There was a clear order from the district magistrate that armed processions were not allowed. It was done intentionally and wilfully in contradiction to the order,” Birbhum SP N Sudheer Kumar said.

While Chatterjee maintained that she doesn’t consider ‘trishul’ to be a weapon, the SP said: “Action has been taken on the basis of the definition of arms under CrPC.”

Hours after Chatterjee was booked, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asserted that hooliganism in the name of Ram Navami celebrations is not the culture of West Bengal. While directing the police to not spare anyone who carried arms during Sunday’s processions, Mamata said action would also be taken against policemen who would go soft on such armed processions.


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