‘Can we not even worship peacefully?’
Terrorists have attacked a temple in the Chandibarpur area of Narail and injured three people.
They also vandalized temporary shops, temple fences, worship materials and Dhunchi dance equipment on the temple grounds.
A Christian youth of English descent was hacked and injured along with two others when they tried to stop them.
The incident took place at Chandibarpur Paschimpara Adivasi Mandir at around 11pm on Sunday, the ninth day of Durga Puja. No case was filed till 6:30pm on Monday.
According to locals, a group of local miscreants were harassing women during the Dhunchi dance at Chandibarpur Parchimpara Puja Mandap and were stopped by local youths.
Half an hour later, at around 10pm, at least 25 people on nine motorcycles turned up, armed with local weapons such as knives, Chinese axes, rods and sticks and pounced on the people in the temple.
Enamul, Ramesh and some others were beaten.
Ashish Debarose, a local Christian youth, was stabbed and injured while trying to stop them. Ashish is currently undergoing treatment at Narail sadar hospital.
He is the son of Anton Debarose, a descendant of the English Debarose family who cultivated indigo in Shankarpur.
Kalidas Biswas, general secretary of the temple committee, said: “Police came when the incident was reported but told us to remove the vandalized things from the spot. They also did not let us record a video of the incident.”
Jharna Rani, the priest of the temple, said, "We were peacefully conducting our religious ceremonies in the mandap. Suddenly a group came and started dancing and harassing the girls.
“When they were interrupted, they left but later came back to attack the people assembled there.”
“They vandalized and beat up the people under the leadership of Chunnu of Ambaria village, Enamul of Dhuria and Anis Hafizur,” she added.
On the other hand, Narail sadar police station OC Ilias Hossain denied any act of vandalism and said: "Many people make things up.” But admitting that Ashish Debarose had been seriously injured, he said that further legal action was being taken.
Ramesh Biswas, former president of the temple committee, said: "Initially we requested them to leave but they came back with 25-30 people and vandalized the temple.
“They beat up those who obstructed them. From fear of such incidents we did not decorate the mandap last year.” He asked plaintively, “Can we not even worship peacefully?”