Trouble erupted in various parts of West Bengal on Wednesday when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters allegedly broke lockdown rules to celebrate the foundation laying for the setting up of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wednesday is being marked as one of the bi-weekly lockdown days in West Bengal imposed by the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19.

As PM Modi participated in a Bhumi Poojan ceremony in the temple town to pave the way for building the 161-ft tall structure in Ayodhya, BJP supporters in West Bengal allegedly broke lockdown rules to celebrate the historic event. Some took to dancing with swords – like in Raigunj in Uttar Dinajpur district while others organised yajnas like in Jalpaiguri’s Dhupguri area and in Kolkata.

In Kidderpore, Dum Dum Park, puja of Lord Ram was organised along with yajna, where social distancing rules were hardly followed. There were several gatherings out in the streets.

In New Town’s Narayanpur, barely a few kilometres from Kolkata, there was trouble over alleged firing. Local people allegedly backed by the BJP claimed that Trinamool Congress supporters held a rampage and fired in the area on Tuesday night to create an atmosphere of fear so that no one could step out on Wednesday to perform pujas. In protest, BJP supporters on Wednesday blocked roads in the area and made allegations against Trinamool Congress leaders. Police personnel guarded the area since morning as the area remained tense all day.

In West Midnapore’s Belda, nine persons were arrested by the police for breaking lockdown rules. In Midnapore town too, BJP supporters allegedly broke lockdown rules. Clashes took place in Kharagpur as well — as those who flouted the lockdown clashed with police.

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh and senior leaders of the party Rahul Sinha, Arjun Singh, Mukul Roy and others performed puja in their respective homes. Reacting to the incidents of clashes and violence in various parts of the state on Wednesday, Ghosh said that the state government was not valuing the sentiments of the people.

[Image representational]

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