Dhola in 24 Paraganas (South) – hotspot of recurrent Hindu persecution
On February 17, 2014, at 12.30 am, Kripasindhu Purakait (age 34) and his wife, Sadhana Purakait (age 30), living in the village of Harishpur within the jurisdiction of the police station of Dhola in the district of 24 Paraganas (South) were attacked by a band of robbers. It has been learnt from their account, each criminal in the team was Muslim by religion and having lethal weapons including swords. They barged into the residence all of a sudden and while one of them injured Kripasindhu Purakait by a sword, two others thrashed Sadhana extremely. What took place next was nothing save for a plunder; all materials in the household, let alone money and jewelries, were looted and now the condition is such that they have to seek glasses from neighbors to drink water. Prior to escape, Sadhana was tied with her own saree to prevent her from raising any alarm. Locals apprehend that Sadhana became victim to a brutal molestation as well. Even if a police complaint has been filed to the local police station against this nefarious incident, villagers are found to express their lack of confidence on police in this regard.
What makes villagers lose confidence on local administration? If truth be told, lots of similar harrowing accounts can be narrated. Only a couple of weeks back, two Hindu housewives named Mitali Halder (name changed) and Sandhya Mandal (name changed) were kidnapped and raped by a group of Islamists. However, none has been arrested yet even if an FIR was filed then. Police, as per locals, seem to be indisposed to find out culprits and take them into custody. It has to be mentioned that the village contains only 7 Hindu families and hence, their position is at stake.
And this is also no new development as territories within Dhola police station’s jurisdiction are known for Hindu persecution. On May 15, 2012, at 9.30 pm, Gaffar Zamadar, age 28, an Islamist residing in the neighboring village of Koutala, was caught red-handed while trying to enter the residence of a Hindu individual, Sri Govinda Banik, living in village of Bhasna, to rob the entire family of all their belongings. Hindus, en masse, after getting hold of him, thrashed him highly and Gaffar got unconscious. He was taken to Kupi Hospital and he was declared dead soon.
The development created strong reactions among Islamists inhabiting the environs and as a mark of protest, they were perceived to gherao the police station and also block the thoroughfare. What is most striking, Islamists were found to chant wild slogans focusing on the need of vengeance against Hindus openly (this took place before police openly) and termed Gaffar Zamadar as an “Imam bhai” and no thief.
Hindus were warned by Islamists of dire consequences in public. They depended on police and administration initially but owing to apparent disinclinations of administration, Hindus could not muster the courage to remain in their own dwellings any more. Hindus fled to neighboring areas for weeks while a few people, having no place to take refuge, were guarding their residences desperately. An FIR had also been submitted terming 61Hindus as accomplice in the death of Gaffar. Hindus returned later on but they have lost all confidence on police by now.
Hindu Samhati regularly monitors and reports violations against Hindus in West Bengal. We also work with both governmental and NGO agencies for proper education on protection and ensure remedies to the Hindu populace as per prevailing law of the land.