YET again Durga pratima (idol of Devi Durga) of a community puja pandal was attacked by the Muslims of Murarai in the district of Birbhum in West Bengal. Last year also they attacked Saraswati idol of a community puja pandal and desecrated it in the same place, i.e. Murarai. Police and bosses of administration had, as usual, promised to take action against the culprits. That was nothing but a tactic to divert the attention of the people. Fact remains that nothing was done about it. And now a repetition of the same kind of attack on the sentiments of Hindus. This time they have killed one person and injured six others who have been hospitalised in Rampurhat sub-divisional hospital. Among the injured hospitalised, condition of one person is very serious. The venue of this incident was Paschimpara of Rudranagar under Murarai sub-division of Birbhum district. Police had already arrested three persons on the allegation of murder, rioting, looting and arson.
The attack took place on 22nd October, at about 6 p.m. The Muslim attackers came with full preparation. They were armed with lethal weapons. As the distribution centre of electricity in that area was located in Muslim area, they conveniently switched off the power supply. Suddenly, the whole area immersed into deep darkness and Muslims started their action on the devotees and onlookers. The organisers of the Durga Puja committee were taken aback as they were not prepared. By the time they could put up any resistance a person named Bhabesh Bhuimali (54) was killed by the attackers. After sometime police came to the spot and deployed police picket in the village so that no further escalation of the incident could take place.
Actually this incident was preceded with another incident which took place in the morning and where Muslim young men were involved in teasing the young Hindu girls. Every year, in the morning of Dussehra, bullock race used to be organised. This was the specialty of Rudranagar village. Hindu young men did not tolerate the audacity of Muslim young men and they opposed the acts of Muslims. Muslims realised that Hindus were organised and their number was also large. So they fled away. Hindus thought that nothing would follow, because they had got a good lesson. But Muslims could not digest this defeat and they came back on the scene with full preparation. Hence this attack was there. The Hindu Muslim population ratio in Murarai and Rudranagar is 50:50.
The Superintendent of Police, Birbhum district, Satyasankar Panda had tried to divert attention from the actual incident and said that there was an old quarrel regarding the harvesting of paddy from the field. The attackers came to take revenge of that. He further said that recently there was theft of fishes from a pond of that village and this had prompted the incident. Because of this incident, immersion of the idol in a nearby river could not take place. Residents of Rajbansipara said that when the preparation of immersion was going on Muslims from Suryapara fully armed with lethal weapons attacked them. Among the attackers some known criminals were also there.
Those who witnessed the incident from a very close quarter had confirmed that the attack was a pre-planned episode. Not only that the electric supply was stopped by them; they had fixed their target beforehand. According to that plan they had chased Bhabesh Bhuimali and some six-seven people applying their own tactics singled him out and killed him by beating. Although the attackers thought that Bhabesh had died, he was still alive. Anyhow Bhabesh managed to crawl to his house, but ultimately he had succumbed to his injuries in Rampurhat sub-divisional hospital at about 12 in the night.
On the other hand, under the strong police bandobast Durga idol was immersed at midnight.
The police had lodged criminal cases against 14 persons but they could not arrest all those 14 criminals. Only three alleged criminals could be arrested and their names were Tonic Sheikh, Husmat Sheikh and Sherafat Sheikh. They were produced before the Rampurhat court and they were remanded to jail custody for 14 days by the court'sorder. SDPO (Sub-Divisional Police Officer) of Rampurhat Mrinal Majumdar said that search for other alleged criminals is on. He promised that stern action would be taken against these anti-social elements.
It is surprising that the media, as a whole, had tried to hush up the whole incident as Muslims are involved in this attack. One or two newspapers published the news without disclosing the identity of those criminals. This type of self-defeating news catering has made the situation more complicated.