Srinagar: A man was killed and a statue of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad pulled down during an armed rally led by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders in North 24 Parganas district of Bengal on Sunday, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The incident occurred in Bhatpara municipality area, about 40 km from Kolkata.
According to the report, local TMC leaders, including MLA Arjun Singh and Bhatpara Municipality Chairman-in-Council Md Maqsood Alam, participated in the rally, which began around 4 pm. People were carrying swords and trishuls, said residents of the area. But Alam claimed that their procession was “hijacked by people with the wrong intentions”, who “were raising pro-BJP slogans”.
As per the report, asked about the Ram Navami processions, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in New Delhi: “There were two-four processions, but the media plays it up to seem that there were many more. Even the Ganesh Puja did not happen earlier. What is this ploy to defame Ram by carrying pistols in his name, threatening other communities? This is against the Constitution.”
Quoting witness the report said the trouble in Bhatpara began when the crowd was passing by Jama Masjid in Ghosh Para (a Muslim-dominated area). “A group of people said something, which the Muslim community objected to. There was an argument between the two groups, followed by stone-pelting. It was a long procession, and half the people were already near the Kankinara rail bridge, which was recently renamed after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. When these people heard about the incident near the Jama Masjid, they pulled down the statue of Maulana Azad. The mob also targeted vehicles parked in the area.” said the witness.
The statue, at one end of the Kankinara rail bridge, was inaugurated on January 26 this year. All that is left now is an empty platform. However, local TMC MLA Arjun Singh claimed that the statue was never there.