Temples vandalised, Hindus under siege in Bengal

published on May 21, 2013

Amidst tensions over attempts to encroach land belonging to a temple in Balagarh, Hooghly, West Bengal, prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been imposed, even as the mainstream media abides by an informal diktat to black out the news. Aggrieved Hindus say the trouble arose when members of one community sought to extend a nearby graveyard into the temple space, and attacked the temple deities, triggering violence. The administration, in a display of blatant partisanship, has arrested six persons from the wronged community only.

The Lakshmi Narayan temple possesses 48 decimal area as devottar property, and lays adjacent to a graveyard (kabristan). The State Government allotted Rs 10.5 lakh to construct a boundary wall for the graveyard. But when construction began, the Hindus objected that it was encroaching upon the devottar area.

According to volunteers of the Hindu Samhati that monitors Hindu grievances in the State, on the night of May 19, some miscreants entered the temple and damaged the principal deity. The next day, angry Hindus blockaded the road, but calmed down when the block development officer came to the village and made some assurances. But on the morning of May 21, the deities were thrown out of the temple, triggering high tension in the village.

The administration has taken a blatantly pro-minority stand and arrested six persons from the Hindu community only. Four of the arrested persons are being held at Balagarh police station, but two have been shifted to Chinsurah police station. The arrested persons include the BJP block president Subhash Khan, who was produced in the Chinsurah court today. Another person, Samir Singha, was badly beaten in the course of protests against the iconoclasm, and is currently in a hospital.

The forthcoming panchayat election – scheduled to be held in three phases on July 4, 6 and 9 respectively, is widely believed to be the cause of the administration’s laxity (or indulgence) of the belligerence of the minority community that has been increasingly assertive in recent times.

Read full report from West Bengal by Sandhya Jain in

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