Howrah police on Tuesday arrested a youth, who was found with a gun during a Ram Navami rally in Howrah’s Shibpur on March 30, from Bihar's Munger.
Sumit Shaw, 19, from Howrah’s Salkia was later handed over to CID, which is probing the violence that rocked a few Howrah areas following a conflict between the two communities.
“The youth has been arrested from Bihar’s Munger where he took a safe shelter in a relative’s home to avoid police action. He will be produced before a court in Howrah on Wednesday. He is being brought to Howrah on transit remand,” said a police source.
Family members of Shaw admitted that the teenager was part of the Ram Navami rally but wasn’t sure whether it was a real gun or a toy gun.
“He went to the rally and we saw from pictures and videos circulated in media and on social media platforms that he was dancing with something that resembled a gun. We do not know whether it was a genuine gun or toy gun,” a family member of Shaw said.
The arrest assumes significance as Trinamul widely circulated the video of the youth dancing with a gun in the Ram Navami rally claiming that it was a conspiracy by the BJP to provoke violence in the area to disturb the law and order situation in Bengal.
Trinamul national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on March 31 showed the video of the youth with a gun to claim that the violence in Howrah over Ram Navami was part of a bigger conspiracy of the BJP.
On the other hand, the BJP accused the Trinamul of circulating a video that was not from Howrah. A section of BJP leaders also claimed that Shaw was a Trinamul plant in the rally to defame the BJP.
“The police who can’t find out explosives like ammonium nitrate from Calcutta and NIA had to come from Delhi to recover those, the same Bengal police went to Munger and caught the accused. The arrest and the episode are Trinamul handiwork,” said BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar.
Countering Majumdar’s claim, Trinamul said the BJP had brought goons from outside the state to disturb the state’s communal harmony. “It proved that the BJP is hiring goons from Munger to disturb Bengal. The arrest of Sumit Shaw has proved it. Those from the BJP involved in the conspiracy will not be spared. The CID will find out the culprits and take legal action against them,” said Trinamul state general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh.