Police Crackdown on Hindus trying to Build Temple in Muslim Majority Jharkhand Village

A 2 year long struggle by Hindus to build a temple dedicated to Bhagwan Vishwakarma in a Jharkhand village where the majority Muslims are opposed to the temple construction, finally culminated in a police crackdown on protesting Hindus, Hindi daily Dainik Jagran has reported.

The incident took place on Sunday, 17th June, at 11 AM in Mokamo village, Giridih district, Jharkhand when police resorted to lathi charge, air firing and use of tear gas to disperse a crowd which had gathered to build the temple in defiance of curfew. Three people were injured, while a team of police led by DC Manoj Kumar and SP Surendra Kumar Jha reached the location and raided several homes. 30 people including Congress leader Nageshwar Singh were arrested. The situation in the village is tense but under control.

Mokamo village has a large population of Muslims – Giridih district as a whole has 21% Muslims and 76% Hindus. Vasudev Mistry, a resident of this village, wants to construct a temple dedicated to Bhagwan Vishwakarma on his own land. Bhagwan Vishwakarma is considered the deity of the creative power that holds the universe together according to the Rigveda, and is considered to be the original creator, architect, divine engineer of the universe – he is especially worshipped by the engineering, crafts and architectural community. However, people from other community were opposing the same. This matter has been going on since past 2 years.

A few days back, Hindu Mahasabha announced in an assembly in nearby Koiridih that if the administration does not sort out the issue, villagers will themselves construct the temple after Eid. Looking at the tension, SDO Pavan Mandal announced curfew in Mokamo from 16 June onwards and both the SDO and SDPO started camping in the area.

However, as soon as Eid got over, many people reached Mokamo and started construction of the said temple. Looking at the tension, the administration stopped the people of other community at a masjid some distance away. Then police cracked down on the villagers who had started temple construction in violation of status quo.

From time to time, we see carefully scripted events of some Muslim organisation making a contribution for reconstruction of Hindu houses or Muslim artisans contributing to a Hindu festival celebration, appearing in MSM. These are used by proponents of ‘Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb’ (so-called composite culture) to further their narrative of an ‘idyllic harmony which has been poisoned by RSS/Hindutva’.

But will these social scientists care to explain the roots of the religious intolerance which cannot stand a Hindu constructing a temple on land owned by him once the religious demography in the area crosses a certain level?

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