Several injured,36 arrested after clashes at religious procession in eastern India

Two groups clashed in the minority-dominated Malvani area of Malad west suburb in West Bengal  during a Ram Navami procession, police said. The incident happened close on the heels of similar clashes in Jalgaon and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar.

The row broke out late Thursday night when some locals objected to loud DJ music playing during the procession that had several hundred participants.

Apparently enraged, some of the participants allegedly indulged in pelting stones, sparking panic among the people there, said a local. Not taking chances, the Malvani police rushed security and additional personnel were summoned to disperse the crowds, and later around two dozen suspected miscreants were nabbed.

The situation there is stated to be normal and under control with police maintaining a tight vigil in view of the ongoing Ramzan month.

The local Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh called upon the police to scan the CCTV footage of the area and take action against those responsible for the clashes last night.

Local leaders of various parties have visited the Malvani region today and appealed to the people to maintain calm.

Tension prevails in Howrah, PIL in HC
As tension over clashes in West Bengal’s Howrah district over a Ram Navami procession continued on Friday, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed at the Calcutta High Court seeking a CBI probe into the matter. A huge contingent of police force, accompanied by the RAF, reached the spot.

Two people were stabbed after two groups clashed over taking out a Ram Navmi procession in Channarayapatna town in Karnataka’s Hassan district

At least 36 people have been arrested in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal after violent clashes disrupted a religious procession, a senior state police official said on Friday

A few vehicles were set ablaze and some shops were ransacked on Thursday as warring groups threw stones at each other in a neighbourhood of the industrial city of Howrah before police and security forces secured the area, the official said.

Skirmishes continued on Friday in Howrah’s Shibpur district, where Hindus and Muslims have lived together for generations, said the official, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to media.

Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal’s chief minister, said the clashes began after a procession celebrating the Hindu festival of Ram Navami on Thursday diverted from its route to an unauthorised area.The senior police official said stones were hurled at the procession as it passed through Shibpur.

Banerjee said there were lapses on the part of the police and strong action would be taken in the matter.State police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Suvendu Adhikari, a leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, said at least 10 party workers had been injured in the clashes and that police had stood by as “spectators” during the violence.

Meanwhile, in Vadodara city, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, police arrested 22 people on Friday for rioting and stone pelting during a Ram Navami procession on Thursday. Six police personnel and five other people were injured in the violence, police said.

“A large mob resorted to stone pelting and damaged public property, including some vehicles in the Fatehpura area of the city,” M.L. Ninama, joint commissioner of Vadodara police, told Media.

Taking a serious view of the violence during a Ram Navami procession in Howrah, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today spoke to West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose and took stock of the situation, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

They said during the telephonic conversation with the Governor, Shah sought to know the prevailing situation in the state, particularly in the violence-hit areas of Howrah.

The Governor is believed to have apprised the Union Home Minister of Thursday’s violence and the present situation, they said.

Clashes broke out between two groups in the Kazipara area of Howrah district during Ram Navami festivities. Several vehicles were torched and shops ransacked in the area, the West Bengal Police said, adding with heavy deployment of forces, the situation in and around the affected area was peaceful on Friday.

Thirty-six persons have been arrested in connection with the violence, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is reported to have said, claiming there was laxity on part of some officials in the administration and strict action would be taken against those involved in the clashes.

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