Hanuman Jayanti: MHA asks states, UTs to ensure law and order, peaceful observance of festival

Close on the heels of communal violence in West Bengal and Bihar during Ram Navami, the Centre on Wednesday asked all states to ensure law and order during Hanuman Jayanti on April 6 and monitor any factor that could disturb peace and harmony in society.

The Home Ministry’s advisory to all states and Union territories aimed at sensitising law enforcement agencies following the communal violence last week.

“The MHA has issued an advisory to all states in preparation for Hanuman Jayanti. The governments are encouraged to ensure the maintenance of law and order, peaceful observance of the festival, and monitoring of any factors that could disturb communal harmony in society,” the Home Minister’s Office tweeted.

Clashes and instances of fire-bombing were reported from Hooghly and Howrah districts of West Bengal over Ram Navami processions in the last few days including on Monday night.

Several vehicles were torched and shops ransacked in Howrah.

Clashes were reported in West Bengal’s Rishra on Sunday during a Ram Navami procession in which BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh and party’s Pursurah MLA Biman Ghosh were present. The MLA was injured and hospitalised.

Parts of the nearby Serampore also witnessed incidents of vandalism following which prohibitory orders were imposed and Internet services suspended.

The violence led West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose to visit some of the violence-hit areas after Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to him.

On Tuesday, the Union home ministry also sought a detailed report from the West Bengal government on the communal violence.

Communal violence took place in Bihar’s Sasaram and Biharsharif towns too on and after Ram Navami following which over 170 people were arrested by the police.

Vehicles, houses and shops were torched and several people were injured in communal flare-ups reported in both towns on March 30 and 31.

Home Minister Shah expressed concern over the incidents and spoke to Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar to take stock of the situation.

The home ministry also sent additional paramilitary forces to Bihar to assist the state administration in handling the situation.

Shah had cancelled his proposed tour of Sasaram on April 2 after prohibitory orders were put in place in the town.