Muslims attacked Durga Puja Pandal in West Bangal, killed one

via Asim Kumar Mitra published on October 29, 2007

BIRBHUM (WEST BANGAL) : Yet again Durga Pratima (Idol of Devi Durga) of a community Puja pandal was attacked by the Muslims of Murarai in the district of Birbhum in West Bengal . Last year also they attacked Saraswati Idol of a community Puja pandal and desecrated it in the same place i.e. Murarai. Police and bosses of administration had, as usual, promised to take action against the culprits. That was nothing but a tactics to divert the attention of the people. Fact remains that nothing was done about it. And now a repetition of the same kind of attack on the sentiments of Hindus. This time they have killed one person and injured six persons who have been hospitalized in Rampurhat Sub Divisional hospital. Among the injured hospitalized, condition of one person is very serious. The venue of this incident was Paschimpara of Rudranagar under Murarai sub division of Birbhum district. Police had already arrested three persons on the allegation of murder, rioting , looting and arson.

The attack took place on 22nd October, at about 6 p.m. The Muslim attackers came with full preparation. They were armed with lethal weapons. As the distribution centre of electricity in that area was located in Muslim area, they conveniently switched off the power supply. Suddenly, the whole area immersed into deep darkness and Muslims started their action on the devotees and onlookers. The organizers of the Durga Puja committee were taken aback as they were not prepared. By the time they could put up any resistance a person named Bhabesh Bhuimali (54) was killed by the attackers. After some time police came to the spot and deployed police picket in the village so that no further escalation of the incident could take place.

Actually this incident was preceded with another incident which took place in the morning and where Muslim young men were involved in teasing the young Hindu girls. Every year, in the morning of Dussera, bullock race used to be organized. This was the specialty of Rudranagar village. Hindu young men did not tolerate the audacity of Muslim young men and they opposed the acts of Muslims. Muslims realized that Hindus were organized and their number was also large. So they fled away. Hindus thought that nothing would follow, because they had got a good lesson. But Muslims could not digest this defeat and they came back on the scene with full preparation. Hence this attack was there. The Hindu Muslim population ratio in Murarai and Rudranagar was 50: 50.

The Superintendent of Police, Birbhum district, Satyasankar Panda had tried to divert attention from the actual incident and said that there was an old quarrel regarding the harvesting of paddy from the field. The attackers came to take revenge of that. He further said that recently there was theft of fishes from a pond of that village and this had prompted the incident. Because of this incident, immersion of the idol in a nearby river could not take place. Residents of Rajbansipara said that when the
preparation of immersion was going on Muslims from Suryapara fully armed with lethal weapons attacked them. Among the attackers some known criminals were also there.

Those who witnessed the incident from a very close quarter had confirmed that the attack was a pre planned episode. Not only that the electric supply was stopped by them, they had fixed their target beforehand. According to that plan they had chased Bhabesh Bhuimali and some six-seven people applying their own tactics singled him out and killed him by beating. Although the attackers thought that Bhabesh had died, but he was still living. Anyhow Bhabesh could crawl to his house, but ultimately he had succumbed to his injuries in Rampurhat Sub Divisional hospital at about 12 in the night.
On the other hand, under the strong Police ‘bandobast’ Durga idol was immersed at midnight.

The police had lodged criminal cases against 14 persons but they could not arrest all those 14 criminals. Only three alleged criminals could be arrested and their names were Tonic Sheikh, Husmat Sheikh and Sherafat Sheikh. They were produced before the Rampurhat court and they were remanded to jail custody for 14 days by the court’s order. SDPO (Sub Divisional Police Officer) of Rampurhat Mrinal Majumdar said that search for other alleged criminals were on. He had promised that stern action would be taken against these anti-social elements.

In this connection grave concern has been expressed by responsible citizens of the state. Because Birbhum district is situated on the western bank of Ganga river which is far away from the Bangladesh border. Naturally, pressure of Muslim infiltration from Bangladesh should not be there. In fact, Birbhum is not a Muslim majority district. But there are few pockets e.g. Nalhati, Murarai, etc. where Muslims are dominating and they have made the lives of Hindus hell. These Muslims indulge in all sorts of activities to irritate Hindus. Eve-teasing has taken a dangerous shape in these areas. Cow slaughter on the open street is a regular feature. Police do not stop them in the name of secularism although this is an illegal act. Hindus living in these areas have become victims of theft, robberies and abduction of girls from their families. Hindus are not always sure that they

will be in a position to bring home the yearly harvest of paddy, wheat or other products. Cultivation of fish in ponds has again become a risky proposition for these Muslims as
they use to steal or at times forcefully loot them. Police and administration are simply slipping over these things for fear of political interference.

On the one hand continuous efforts to build up communal harmony by the majority community with all sincerity is going on and the on the other, minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians, are indulging in increasing number of incriminating incidents by taking advantage of majority community’s magnanimous attitude towards them. If all political parties, perhaps without any exception, pursue such a policy then what will be the ultimate fate of this country.

It is surprising that the media, as a whole, had tried to hush up the whole incident as Muslims are involved in this attack. One or two newspapers published the news without disclosing the identity of those criminals. This type of self-defeating news catering has made the situation more complicated.

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