Gajan festival demolished in Mandirbzar, South 24 Paraganas

Islamist onslaughts rampant; Hindus not dispirited but defiant 

Gajan Utsav (festival) in Bengal happens to be a traditional dance coupled with songs to venerate Lord Shiva during Chaitra or the last month of Bengali calendar and this has been going for centuries. But radical Muslims are no more ready to let it go; the village of Bodokania within the jurisdiction of Mandirbazar police station in the district of South 24 Paraganas had its wrath on April 12. It was at 9 pm when a few Hindu youths in Bodokania came across a group of Muslim youths beside the village’s thoroughfare drinking hard liquor and also using marijuana. Since it was near to the Gajan Utsav of 150 years old, Hindus asked them to leave which was denied instantly. Two Hindu youths, in response, were slapped as well leading to exchanges of both words and blows between the two groups.  Within a few minutes, Muslims in large numbers from the nearby village of Banshidharpur Haldarpara turned up making Hindus there a minuscule minority. This large gathering lost no time to smash up the Hindu youths and albeit, the youths managed to escape, they were chased by Islamists in large numbers. Gajan Utsav came to a halt.

A bomb was hurled at this time to foil the Hindu celebration but it was avenged by another bomb and a good number of people, both Hindus and Muslims, got injured. According to locals, two Hindus along with seven Muslims were harmed grievously. This series of attacks attracted more Islamists to take part in the onslaught. Suddenly, the electricity was cut off and the entire area plunged into darkness. Triumphs in war depends on exploiting abrupt developments perfectly and true to form, Islamists beefed up attacks then through using lethal weapons including firearms, bombs but Hindus were also in no mood to cede to them. Hence, a war of weapons let loose. Pebbles were also exchanged by the two warring communities violently. To stamp down the rising menace, a large team of police from the police station of Joynagar appeared within the next 30 minutes; they were soon followed by another contingent of police from the Mandirbazar police station. On the word of local administration, the situation (by then) was completely out of control and hence, they could do nothing except to fire tear gas at both groups and wait till the deployment of an unit of Rapid Action Force. Despite RAF’s deployment, one could hear bombings from miles away.            

None, in accordance with the latest information, has been arrested yet. But Islamists have been found to allege Pratap Naskar, Chiranjit Naskar and a few others to mastermind the entire defence. The situation is extremely tricky now; however, no further acts of violence have taken place yet thanks to the presence of police and RAF in strength in the midst of Bodokania. Hindus are having sleepless nights now as the security will be withdrawn in the next three days. What appalls them is the aggression of Islamists baying for blood of several Hindu youths including Pratap Naskar and Chiranjit Naskar. They are groping in darkness for a peaceable solution which seems to have been lost for the time being.  

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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