regular-article-logo Monday, 05 June 2023

Ram Navami violence: Police forgot last year’s lesson, says intelligence report

On Friday, over 40 persons were rounded up from various parts of Shibpur following a night-long search by cops

Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 01.04.23, 04:24 AM
Security personnel patrol a road at Shibpur in Howrah on Friday. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Security personnel patrol a road at Shibpur in Howrah on Friday. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta Bishwarup Dutta

Enough arrangements had not been made to ensure that there was no repeat of last year's violence when a Ram Navami procession was moving down a pocket of the mixed population of communities in Howrah's Shibpur on Thursday, an intelligence report that reached the home department said.

The report reached the home department hours before police clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC on Friday following fresh violence at Kazipara, the scene of Thursday's violence.


The police said some youths had attacked them with stones late on Friday afternoon in Kazipara where a strong force had been posted since Thursday night. The windshields of a few cars were smashed and some signboards of shops were damaged.

The intelligence report pointed to last year's violence on the occasion of Ram Navami in Howrah and how adequate measures could have been taken to prevent a repeat this time.

Last April, groups of men had poured out from four lanes in Kazipara near PM Busty during violence that rocked Shibpur on the occasion of Ram Navami when a procession was crossing the area, close to Shibpur police station, along GT Road.

Police sources said there were two separate rallies organised in the same pocket of Howrah by two wings of the saffron ecosystem on Thursday.

Thursday's violence broke out in the same spot and around the same time as last year's — around 5.30 pm — and no special measures were taken in terms of police deployment to "cover" these four lanes and a handful of buildings inside, senior officers privy to the report said.

"We are yet to find out whether inputs from the special branch about the possibility of a repeat of last year's violence around the same spot in Kazipara were taken into account while drawing up the deployment plan," said a senior police officer.

Mobile Internet was suspended in Howrah on Friday evening in view of the deteriorating law and order.

Follow us on: