The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory to all states in preparation for Hanuman Jayanti, asking them to ensure maintenance of law and order.
The [state] 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, MHA said.
The advisory comes amid incidents of violence that were seen around Ram Navami, especially in parts of West Bengal and Bihar.
Just a little before MHA’s order, Calcutta High Court had asked the West Bengal government to seek central forces for Hanuman Jayanti amid unrest in parts of the state since Ram Navami.
“The state government should give requisition to Centre for deployment of central forces to conduct Hanuman Jayanti. No Hanuman Jayanti in areas where Section 144 is imposed," directed Calcutta HC.
Union Home Ministry on Tuesday sought a detailed report from the West Bengal government on the violence during Ram Navami in Howrah. This came days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Governor CV Ananda Bose and took stock of the prevailing situation in the state, particularly in violence-hit areas of Howrah.
The home ministry sought a detailed report from the West Bengal government on the violence that took place on Ram Navami in Howrah, sources said.
Clashes broke out between two groups during festivities on March 30. Several vehicles were torched, and shops ransacked in the area, police said. Dozens of people have been arrested in connection with the violence in Howrah.
The Calcutta High Court direction also comes amid the state government issuing guidelines for the police to be more cautious ahead of Hanuman Jayanti in order to avoid any untoward incident.
State government has instructed police to carry out strict monitoring and vigil in sensitive areas, with more emphases to be given in vulnerable areas. Every police personnel posted in such areas has been asked to use a police body-camera. The state government has also asked police to prevent spread of rumours and take strict action against those found doing so.
The West Bengal government has also directed police to monitor social media posts and take strict action against those putting up fake news. Police officers have also been told to hold meetings with community leaders to maintain social harmony. Superior officers have been asked to supervise all processions.