NIA arrests 16 people in Ram Navami violence case in West Bengal

The incident had taken place on March 30 last year

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested 16 persons for conspiring and carrying out a communal attack during a Ram Navami procession in West Bengal last year, an official said on Monday.

The arrests have been made on the basis of revelations that came to light during the probe, and the identification of the accused from video footage of the violence seized in the course of the investigations, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.

The incident had taken place on March 30 last year during a procession to celebrate Ram Navami in Dalkhola in Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal.

The accused were among the perpetrators of the attack on members of a particular community participating in the procession, the spokesperson said, terming their arrest as a major breakthrough.

The state police had initially registered a case against 162 people in the wake of the communal violence triggered by the attack at Tajamul Chawk, Uttar Dalkhola.

Subsequently, the Calcutta High Court, on April 27, ordered the transfer of cases related to communal violence during Ram Navami celebrations to the NIA. Accordingly, the NIA took up investigation of Dalkhola and five other cases.

The spokesperson identified the 16 arrested accused as Afroj Alam, Md Ashraf, Md Imtiaz Alam, Irfan Alam, Kaiser, Md Farid Alam, Md Furkan Alam, Md Pappu, Md Suleman, Md Sarjan, Md Nurul Hoda alias Nanua, Wasim Arya, Md Salahuddin, Md Jannath Alam, Wasim Akram alias Vicky, and Md Tanweer Alam all residents of Dalkhola.

The NIA is continuing with further investigations in the case, the official said.


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