A Hindu religious procession was attacked by Muslim extremists in Barabanki, UP on 14th March, Hindi news outlet Navbharat Times has reported. The Shiv Baraat procession was being taken to Barabanki’s renowned Lodheshwar Mahadev Temple when it was attacked with bamboo sticks and sharp weapons. 10 people including 3 women got injured during the attack. Women were molested and their jewelry was snatched by the attackers.
The mob of around 45 Muslim zealots continued the attack for 20 minutes. The attack turned the atmosphere at the temple into one of terror and fear. The police arrived at the scene and arrested 6 suspects after getting the information. The administration has imposed an undeclared curfew in the area.
Shivbhagwan Shukla of Surajpur village in Ramnagar Police Station area had organized an event after restoration of the Shiv Mandir and for establishing the Shivling. The procession was heading to Sri Lodheshwar Mandir of Mahadeva village for prana-pratishtha (ceremony by which a murti is consecrated in a temple, considered to infuse life & divinity into the murti) of the murtis and the shivling.
Moving in around 4 tractors and many more on foot, devotees were dancing and singing in the procession throwing color in the air with joy. As soon as the procession arrived at Mahadeva village around 1.30 PM, some Muslims attacked the procession accusing the devotees of throwing color on them. The sudden attack with bamboo sticks & sharp-edged weapons caused a stampede. The devotees alleged that the women in the procession were molested. Men, women and children tried to escape the attack but couldn’t go very far as the number of attackers was very large.
Looking at the violence, shop-owners of Mahadeva village closed down their shops. Getting information on UP 100, ASP Digambar Kushwaha arrived at the scene with PAC and police force of nearby police stations and nabbed 6 of the attackers from the crowd.
Meanwhile, several injured devotees – Bacchram(30), Maniram(20), Bhanupratap(28), Rahul(20), Harishankar(60), Vinay(18), Mohit(20), Gudiya Devi(27), Varsha(19) and Shobharam(35) – were taken to CHC (Community Health Centre) Ramnagar for treatment. Police has registered a case under charges of lethal attack, molestation and loot. SP Anil Singh too arrived at the scene and talked to the victims.
The Attack was Pre-planned
Varsha and Gudiya Devi, injured during the attack and admitted in CHC, said that they were riding in a tractor trolley while 30-35 devotees were walking in front when the procession arrived at the turn near Mahadeva Mandir. A group of Muslim men standing there with sticks and axes attacked the procession as soon as it arrived. The attackers also molested the women in the procession and snatched their chains and bangles.
According to the police, Mumtaz, Ateek, Saddam, Sahban, Riyaz Teli, Pappu, Chuppi, Parvez, Shah, Saleem and Habib Mohammad have been named in the lodged report. Total number of the attackers was around 45.
Anil Kumar Singh, SP, Barabanki said “A man was walking with his sister when some color fell on them during the Shiv Baraat procession after which several people attacked the devotees with lathis. Police has filed a complaint. The situation is normal now. 6 people have been taken into custody.” –
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