Durga Puja Vandalized in North Dinajpur, Hindus in Area Consolidate

District : North Dinajpur; Police Station : Karandighi;

In Bethan village, a Durga Puja is organized each year by tribals / locals comprised of Mahato and Rajbonshis. The puja is the main celebration of this group in the village annually, in this northern district of West Bengal.

On 19th October 2012 (Panchami-5th day of Puja), the committee was approached by a grieving truck driver, who said that he was victimized by this Muslim gang 2 kms away from this area. He claimed he was looted by them, asked the organizers for assistance in remediating this nuisance (looting, etc) by approaching the adminstration.

Several puja committee members went to this location and saw a West Bengal poice vehicle in the very spot. They informed the police of the trucker's delemna, and enquired of reason for the lack of protection for the common people from regular looting by the Muslim robbers. The policemen asked the puja organizers to mind their own business, to return to their puja altar, or face serious consequences, which could result in the cancellation of the Durga puja itself for this club. Later it was learned that the police in the area are deeply attached with the robbers and the local Muslim mafia.

On 20th October 2012 (Shasthi-6th day of Puja), around 11 o clock, a white vehicle arrived in front of the puja pandal, stalled there for a few minutes, and left. This vehicle is reported to be owned by Sheikh Jaidul Rahman, who is attached with the local mosque, and also the mafia. The police came after the white car left the scene. Second Officer of Karandighi Police Station, Tarun Karmakar, apparently dead drunk came with his force, and started hurling abusive words at the organizers. He slapped the puja secretary, and when the public protested, he took out his service revolver, and called for more police backup. Karmakar along with his officers kicked and threw the murthi of Debi Saraswati, broke the murthi of Karkick, and defiled the pandal.

It was apparent that Tarun Karmakar and his force were working under the direct influence of Jaidul Rahman. Hindu women were abused and assulted, their saris were torn, etc. Four organizers were arrested, and cases were given aganist them. The arrested were Parameshwar mahato, Paresh Mahato, Bibekananda Mahatao, and Debu Mahato.

On 21st October 2012 (Saptami-7th day of Puja), the entire village of Bethan participated in the blocking of the local road system and demanded the following:

1. Persecution of the Criminals who broke the Hindu religious deities.

2. The local Muslim mafia (controlled by the area mosque) has to be apprehended and disbanded.

3. Puja Committe members have to be unconditionally released.

On 20th October, cases were given on 28 persons and 4 arrested, on the day of the road blocade, 36 persons were given cases and 1 arrested. Four persons have been released on bail, one person is
still not released as of early December.

The puja committee and local Hindu organizations have contacted Hindu Samhati for assistance on this matter, and Hindu Samhati has offered to help the village.

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.


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