Rally with weapons: Case under non-bailable sections filed against Dilip Ghosh, others

BJP puts up a brave front, TMC, CPM condemn
Report by: 
Agencies
Kolkata
6 Apr 2017

A day after the BJP and members of the Sangh Parivar celebrated Ramnavami across the state by taking out rallies carrying sharp-edged weapons in which even children were seen participating in it, the West Bengal police filed a case against state BJP president Dilip Ghosh who led a similar rally at Kharagpur town under non-bailable sections of the arms act. It also slapped suo moto cases against organisers of such rallies at Entally, Posta and Bhowanipore in Kolkata.

Said Anuj Sharma, ADG, law and order, state police at the state secretariat at Nabanna:  “We have filed a case against Ghosh on the basis of a complaint filed by a person at Kharagpur town and Ghosh has been booked under Arms Act 1962, for carrying weapons which is above 9 inches during the procession on Ram Navami.”
For Kolkata Supratim Sarkar, Joint CP of Kolkata Police said: "We have slapped cases under the Arms Act 1962 against the organisers of the rally at Posta, Entally and Bhowanipore.'' Over 200 Ram Navami processions were taken out across the state on Wednesday under the banner of Rama Navami Udjapan Samity "to unite the Hindus" against what they called "growing jihadi activities" in the state. Students and minors were seen participating with swords and knives in some of the processions.

However the BJP state president put up a brave front on this issue: “Law will take its own course. I am not afraid.  I have seen how All India Trinamool Congress(AITC) supporters take guns in their hands during the Muharram procession. The chairman of the Kharagpur municipality also participated in the rally along with me and police should also file case against him,'' Ghosh said.
Echoed Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary: "Swords and knives are not weapons. In many schools and programmes these are used for physical drills. There is nothing wrong in it. And TMC should not talk much about weapons. TMC whose leaders openly abuse police and ask their cadres to throw bombs should not talk much."

Hints of the police action came earlier as chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a rally at Purulia warned that strict action would be taken against those who brandished sharp edged weapons during Ram Navami celebration. ``Some BJP leaders have come out on streets threatening people with swords. I warn them, law will catch up with you,'' Mamata said. According to the Arms Act 1962 if anybody takes part in a rally with a weapon longer than 9 inch, he or she is punishable under this act. The punishment will be imprisonment between 3 years and 10 years.
Meanwhile political parties and intellectuals have expressed concern over children carrying swords and knives in the rallies. ``What kind of culture is the RSS-BJP trying to bring in West Bengal? Never in the history of Bengal have we seen children and school students marching with weapons and swords in a rally," TMC secretary general and state education minister Partha Chatterjee said.

"Mothers, daughters and children never carried arms publicly in the name of religious processions in Bengal. No religion promotes it," CPM state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra said. Mishra, however, accused the TMC government of being "hand in glove" with the RSS and for not taking any step against it for involving innocent children in the rallies.