Ram Navami celebrations turned violent in various parts of India, with clashes and incidents of vandalism reported from West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. In West Bengal's Howrah district, a riot-like situation ensued with several vehicles set ablaze and public property vandalized. The violence erupted following clashes between two groups. While heavy police deployment was in place in the area, videos circulating on social media platforms showed the extent of the damage caused.
The Trinamool Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee, was quoted by news agency ANI, stating that the groups involved had been hiring goons from outside the state to orchestrate communal riots. Banerjee expressed concern over the audacity of these groups and their use of swords and bulldozers during their processions.
Similar clashes were reported in Gujarat's Vadodara, where stones were hurled at two Ram Navami processions, injuring some persons. One procession was organized by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), while the other was organized by local residents.
In Maharashtra's Aurangabad, a clash between two groups resulted in 12 injuries, including 10 policemen. The violence broke out after a mob of around 500 people hurled stones and petrol-filled bottles near a Ram temple when the personnel tried to control the situation.
Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh, 11 devotees lost their lives when they fell into a well at a temple in Indore's Patel Nagar during a Ram Navami havan. Nearly 30-35 devotees had gathered on the well's roof when it collapsed due to excess weight.
The incidents of violence have raised concerns over the safety and security of citizens during religious festivals and processions. The authorities are investigating the incidents and have assured that strict action will be taken against those involved in the violence.