'Gajon' Procession attacked at Ketugram
After Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas, now, its time for Bardhaman to experience the true colour of so called religion of peace. Ketugram is a small village under Katwa Sub-division in the district of Bardhaman. The village has 80% Hindu & 20% Muslim population. For centuries, Hindus, in that locality, celebrate the last few days of the Bengali calendar year worshiping Lord Shiva which is popularly known as the Gajon festival.
As a part of the celebration, devotees take 5 idols of Lord Shiva for holy shower in the river Ganges at Uddharanpur that is almost 10 km away from Ketugram. On 11th April, 2013 a meeting was held in presence of ADM, SDPO, OC & CI of Ketugram police station where the route of the procession was approved by the administration. It was also decided in the meeting that as there was a mosque en route, the procession should start only after 1.05pm i.e. after the end of namaz.
Last year, Muslims disturbed and created problems in the ceremony. Hence, this year administration held the peace meeting prior to the ceremony.
Accordingly, on 12th April, the procession started after 1.05pm. But once the procession was passing by the mosque, which is in a stone throwing distance from local police station, Muslims started throwing brickbats at the procession without any provocation. Devotees, totally unaware of such attacks, became puzzled and panicked for shelter. This chaotic situation was enough to instigate police force led by ADM & SDPO to start pouncing on devotees. A good number of tear gas shells were charged by police towards the devotees, and then police resorted to lathi charge. The real perpetrators or actual attackers remained untouched.
Under the attack from both Muslims & police, Hindus became totally scattered. 5 idols of Lord Shiva, they were carrying, went missing. Then Muslims, under the leadership of Dalim Sheikh, started looting and ransacking nearby Hindus shops. Shops of Shyamal Dey, Ujjwal, Madhu Modak were looted in front of police. Madhu Majee, who went to protest, was brutally attacked by the group and police remained silent spectator. Once they were done with looting, Section 144 was imposed in the area and RAF was deployed to provide safety to Muslims attackers from a possible Hindu backlash. Now administration blocked the village to suppress the news of atrocities on Hindus. Nobody is allowed to enter the village.
The Hindus could not complete their annual religious ritual.