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Image: Representational.

Asansol: A deputy commissioner of police (DCP) has been grievously injured while several houses, shops, and vehicles have been vandalised at Raniganj in West Burdwan district today centring a Ram Navami procession taken out by pro-RSS organisations.

Trouble started after participants in the Ram Navami procession shouted some slogans while passing through Hill Busty area of Raniganj. Some Muslim youths found the slogans as being targeted at the community and thus raised an objection.

First, an argument and then a scuffle broke out between those in the procession and the youths. During this, stones and bricks were allegedly pelted on the procession from the terrace of a nearby building.

As the news of this incident reached RSS-BJP workers in other areas of Raniganj, clashes broke out in areas like Sahebbandh, Rajbandh, etc. At least 50 persons were injured in the clashes while several houses, shops, and vehicles were vandalised.

With the situation gradually going out of control, policemen in large numbers swung into action all over Raniganj. Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the warring groups.

During this, the rioters lobbed a crude bomb on the police, in which Asansol-Durgapur’s DCP (headquarters) Arindam Dutta Choudhury suffered grievous injury. Choudhury’s right hand was severely damaged. He was at once rescued by other policemen and taken to a hospital at Asnasol.

BJP’s Union minister Babul Supriyo, who was to flag off the Ram Navami procession from Sitaram Bhavan ground on NSB Road at Raniganj, cancelled his plans after hearing about the violence. Supriyo’s convoy returned a little before reaching Raniganj.