Post-poll violence has reportedly continued in West Bengal, with BJP workers on Thursday alleging that they were lathi-charged by police officers for simply chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' in the Dhanekhali area of the Hooghly district in West Bengal.
Visuals show BJP staging a protest against the Mamata Banerjee-led government by chanting slogans like 'Vande Mataram' and 'Jai Shri Ram' as tires are seen burning in the streets, engulfing the area in smoke.
Sources also report that BJP cadres are alleging that one of their fellow-party workers was also shot at by the police. The party worker has reportedly sustained bullet injuries for allegedly chanting 'Jai Shri Ram'. Police had allegedly also resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowds as per sources.
The 'Jai Shri Ram' controversy has been prevalent in the state since the Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee raged at BJP supporters chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' at her convoy in May, during poll campaign season.
In retaliation, many BJP supporters and leaders including PM Modi have rebutted to Banerjee's objection to the slogan, calling her intolerant and claiming that she had lathi-charged supporters for chanting 'Jai Shri Ram'. Banerjee too has claimed that BJP is forcing 'Hindutva' into West Bengal by making the chant their party slogan.
Fanning the flames of controversy, earlier on June 2, Banerjee had ordered the Kolkata Police to find out the background details of the people raised the chants. As per sources, Mamata Banerjee wanted to know whether the people raising the 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans are outsiders. She had further asked the police to find out the places in Bengal where the sloganeers are residing and figure out the areas in the state where she can run into them during her movement, sources said.
Following this move by Banerjee, BJP sent 10 lakh 'Jai Shri Ram' postcards to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, which was countered by Trinamool sending PM Modi 'Jai Hind. Jai Bangla. vande Mataram' postcard.
Recently on June 17-18, in the Lok Sabha, BJP MPs had raised 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans during the oath-taking ceremony of many Opposition leaders who had taken objection to the statement as well as when West Bengal MPs took oath of office.