NIA makes 11 more arrests in Ram Navami violence cases in West Bengal

New Delhi, March 19 : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested 11 more accused persons in the conspiracy relating to the communal violence that broke out during Ram Navami celebrations in West Bengal in March 2023.

The fresh arrests came less than a month after 16 persons were held by the NIA in the six cases that were transferred to the agency on April 27, 2023.

The 11 accused persons were also among those involved in conspiring and perpetrating the attacks on members of a particular community, triggered by one such incident during a procession to celebrate Ram Navami in Shibpur under the Howrah Police Commissionerate on March 30, 2023.

During its investigation, the NIA had identified the accused from the video footage seized from various locations.

The probe also led the NIA to other major revelations, resulting in these arrests as well as the arrest of 16 persons on February 26.

The 11 arrested accused have been identified as Shamim Ahmed alias Bare, Balwant Singh, Mehmud Alam, Mehfooz Alam alias Sonu, Shamshad Alam alias Danish, Mohammad Ali alias Suraj, Salim Jawed alias Jawad, Sarfaraz Alam alias Lalan, Firoj Khan, Md Sameer Ansari alias Raj, and Shamshad Hussain alias Raja.

All of them are residents of Shibpur, Howrah.

The case was initially registered by the state police against 36 persons over the violence in Shibpur. On April 278, 2023, the Calcutta High Court ordered the transfer of all the cases related to the spate of communal violence that took place during the Ram Navami celebrations in West Bengal to the NIA.

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