West Bengal: Police lathicharge Hindu Jagran Manch's Hanuman Jayanti procession

The rally organisers and the police entered into a heated altercation after the latter stopped them to take out the procession.

Police in Suri, Birbhum district of West Bengal resorted to lathicharge today after Hindu Jagran Manch supporters took out a rally on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti allegedly defying restriction and prohibitory orders.

Hundreds of right wing activists with saffron flags had joined a rally which was stopped by the police in Suri town. The rally organisers and the police then entered into a heated altercation which led to a scuffle.

Subsequently, Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed in the area and police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the crowd.

The BJP had earlier stated that they would take out a rally on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti in the area. The rally was to be led by BJP state president Dilip Ghosh. However, the Birbhum district police had denied permission to the party for the event and imposed section 144 of the CrPC .

However, while BJP leaders stayed away from taking out any procession, the right wing supporters from the Hindu Jagaran Manch congregated in Suri town to conduct the rally.

The police have arrested at least 10 supporters during the clash.

BJP ACCUSES MAMATA OF BEING DICTATORIAL

The BJP, on Sunday, had claimed that the state government was denying the party its legitimate right to observe Hanuman Jayanti. Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who was on a two-day visit to the district, had accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of being 'dictatorial' and misusing state machinery to target political opponents.

"Our party workers have been conducting peaceful processions on Ram Navami. But the state government has slapped false cases on BJP workers. In fact, the state government is even denying us permission for upcoming Hanuman Jayanti celebrations," he said.

Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP and RSS of trying to create communal tensions in the state. In a stern message last week, Mamata had warned of police action against those who indulge in such acts, following which police had lodged suo-moto FIR against state BJP president Dilip Ghosh for taking out "armed processions" on Ram Navami last week.

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