Friday, June 17, 2011

Is Bangladesh safer for Hindus than Indian Bengal?

Bongaon episode indicates it

Ramchandrapur (named after abode of Hindu God Ramchandra) is one of tens of thousands of obscure villages across the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in Dist: 24 Paraganas (North) and is under P.S. Bongaon. But this Hindu Scheduled Caste dominated village containing 277 Hindu households became the centre of attention recently owing to a horrendous incident; attempt to rape a Hindu housewife by a Muslim miscreant of the neighboring village of Bhire (inhabited by at least 500 Muslim households) and the subsequent developments. The shocking incident took place at 11 am on June 02, 2011.

The victim, in this case, happens to be Shefali Tarafdar, aged 27, wife of Nepal Tarafdar, daily laborer and also an old inhabitant in the village. The incident took place as soon as Shefali was in the field for cattle grazing. Huzur Ali, aged 40, son of Siddique got hold of Shefali out of the blue and made attempts to rape her without delay. This led to a great tussle between the two and to save herself from both utter destruction and attacks of the Muslim criminal, Shefali thrust the metal stick (essential for cattle grazing) on Huzur’s head. The desperate counteraction wounded Huzur and Shefali was rescued.

The incident did not die there. Reluctance of local administration to deal the matter with seriousness and bring the culprit to book led to a strong resentment among local Hindus. And finding no other option to make the local administration heed the same, Hindus thought it wise to block off adjoining main thoroughfare peacefully. Harmony prevailed even though solidarity among Hindus alarmed the administration.

Police visited Ramchandrapur on June 02, 2011and left the village without rendering any proper assurance to nab the culprit. Tension continued till the following evening (June 03, 2011) when around 5.30 pm, to disperse the mob and call the just agitation a halt, police cracked down agitators. The scuffle that ensued led to minor injuries among police personnel. Locals allege that unknown people, but not agitators, were behind this.

On the same night, around 9 pm, to avenge injuries of its personnel, police started clamping down Ramchandrapur. The bid of suppression of Hindus was so severe that male members of each family ran away for safety. A good number of innocent persons were incriminated and taken into custody soon.

Persecution on Hindu women of Ramchandrapur

One of these falsely incriminated persons has been Amit Kr. Roy, completely unaware of the incident, who returned to the village around 8.30 pm. His house was vandalized by policemen and Amit was simply dragged to the police van. His wife, Ashtami Roy, age 25 years, pregnant and also in advanced stage, made desperate efforts to save her husband but all were in vain. In return, her stomach was brutally kicked by policemen and she got unconscious.

In the following days, her condition, owing to inhuman torture of police, declined. The condition, as per doctors, worsened, and conditions of mother and women were critical indeed. She was admitted to the nearby Bangaon Hospital but got a rough treatment there. Ashtami remained unattended but her Utrasonogrpahy (USG) reports sated that the position of baby changed entirely. At the moment she is in Habra Hospital. Shefali Tarafdar, on the other hand, due to extreme fear of hostile administration and Muslim goons, has left the village along with her husband and the house is closed yet.

Effect of torments on Children

Children in the village of Ramchandrapur do not have courage to come out of houses and go to elsewhere. Their parents’ harrowing experiences have made them silent and hence, they’re devoid of the guts to go to nearby schools even. Even if two or three of them were found in the streets by this scribe, Animitra Chakraborty, they ran to homes once they’re asked to show some particular houses. Even if the time was moving towards noon from early morning, gloom reigned highly. Raju, my hard-working escort and also one of very few youths conscious of repressions on Hindus, was equally low-spirited.

More revelations speak more…………………….

Even if more than the majority of families in the village preferred to remain tight-lipped, a few families came out. One such family is of Mrs. Kanchan Tarafdar, age 35, local head of TMC (Trinamool Congress). However, she remained silent while my talking with her husband, Gobindo Tarafdar, age 43, continued for almost an hour. It was joined by Subhas Biswas, an aged gentleman of the village.

Gobindao Tarafdar, from the outset, became busy in making me understand the amiability existing between two neighboring villages of Ramchandrapur and Bhire, dominated by two different religions on the whole. As per him, there was never been any hostility between the two and Muslim men and women come to Ramchandrapur without hesitation. Nevertheless, when they were asked of their experiences in Bhire or of any unfortunate experiences in using thoroughfare of Bhire, there was a little pause. Gobdindo recovered soon and stated there was none.

Subhas Biswas went a step forward and stated that Ramchandrapur, a SC (Scheduled Caste) village altogether, was their home for generations. They are no refugees and there is no recorded document of any bloody confrontation ever. He also said that they want to live in peace but extremist groups like Hindu Samhati are making life miserable. According to Gobindo Tarafdar, no less than 80% of the village is yet to know of Hindu Samhati; who its leaders are and what it is all about other than stimulating people on wrong causes and pelting stones on police personnel. This affirmation got the wholehearted support of Subhas Biswas.

A different view of the entire development came from Bankim Roy, ailing father of Amit Roy, already arrested. In accordance with him, it is better to call relation between Hindus and Muslims in the vicinity a bizarre silence instead of harmony and brotherhood. One simple example may make the scenario easier. As per him, almost a decade back, a Hindu individual named Deben, while returning to his house with his newly-bought cow, was stopped by a few Muslim ruffians. Their main intention was to have the cow. When Deben refused strongly, he was stabbed to death and the cow was taken away. Deben’s body was found next day and this led to a strong resentment among Hindus and a great disturbance in the locality.

When Raju referred to the rape and killing of a Hindu woman a few years back in Ramchandrapur, Bankim Babu silently nodded his head in support. The aged couple, without son and daughter-in-law, is living in extreme fear and waiting for return of Amit and Ashtami.

On June 10, 2011, local MLA Biswajit Das, along with BDO officer and a few Panchayat members, held a meeting, assured villagers that there would no more be any kind of police atrocities and asked people to return without delay. Scores of houses are still closed and abodes of Kalidas Mandal and Aditya Mandal, adjacent to that of Bankim Babu, are also included.

Here is the list of accused persons-

1) Ajit Adhikari s/o late Haralal of RailBazar Saha Para, P.S. Bongaon

2) Amit Kr. Roy s/o Bankim Roy of Ramchandrapur

3) Pintu Sarkar s/o Santosh Sarkar of Kalmegha

4) Sanjay Sarkar s/o Bishnu Pada Sarkar of Kalmegha

5) Sukumar Mandal s/o Tarak Mandal of Kalmegha

6) Sailen Sarkar s/o late Sudhanya Sarkar of Netaji Nagar

7) Sanjib Sarkar s/o Netai Sarkar of Netaji Nagar

8) Mithun Tarafdar s/o Surya Tarafdar of Boaldah

9) Kalu Mandal s/o Anath Mandal of Kalmegha

10) Bapi Mandal s/o Nera Mandal of Kalmegha

11) Gautam Mandal s/o Rampada Mandal of Kalmegha

12) Dhananjoy Malakar s/o Mantu Malakar

13) Gaffar Mandal s/o Baburali Mandal of Boaldah

14) Sulay Sarkar s/o Nirapada Sarkar of Netaji Nagar

15) Biswajit Sarkar s/o Sailen Sarkar of Netaji Nagar

16) Susanta Mandal s/o Jatin Mandal of Kalmegha

17) Rajib Bairagi s/o Pulin Bairagi of Kalmegha

18) Keshab Mandal s/o Bhadu Mandal of Kalmegha

19) Samir Dhali s/o Ratan Dhali of Bangalini

20) Buddheswar Sarkar s/o Nirapada Sarkar of Netaji Nagar

21) Gour Mandal s/o Gopal Mandal of Ramchandrapur

22) Bhombal Sarkar s/o Bishnu Pada Sarkar of Kalmegha

23) Swapan Sarkar s/o Rampada Sarkar of Kalmegha

24) Biswajit Roy s/o Nirod Baran Roy of Ramchandrapur

25) Gopal Roy s/o Amiya Roy of Ramchandrapur

26) Benoy Biswas s/o Anil Biswas of Ramchandrapur

27) Dipendu Sarkar s/o Naba of Kalmegha

28) Santosh Sarkar s/o Satish Sarkar of Kalmegha

29) Laltu Sarkar s/o Anil Sarkar of Kalmegha

30) Supriti Mukherjee of Kalmegha

31) Nisith Ghosh s/o Joy Mangal of Angar Pukria

32) Gobinda Garai s/o Asarani of Angar Pukria

33) Sambhu Das s/o Chitto of Angar Pukria

34) Tapan of Angar Pukria

35) Swapan Goldar s/o Sunil of Angar Pukria

36) Manik Saha s/o Nisith Saha of Boaldah

37) Brother of Ajit Adhikari s/o late Haralal of RailBazar Saha Para, P.S. Bongaon

All aforementioned persons belong to P.S. Bongaon and about 50 others are also included.

Sections imposed on aforesaid persons – 147/148/149/353/186/427/323/325/307 IPC & 3 PD R.P.P Act

Can Bengali Hindus exist?

Religious persecutions on Hindus in Bangladesh (exceedingly common in former East Pakistan as well) are going on in full swing and no political party there seems to be interested to call this a halt. And there is nothing new in these. Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh, owing to vindictive attitudes of the Islamic state and own faults too, have become vulnerable to the entire political stratum. All these can be easily comprehended but the worsening situation of Hindus in Indian state of Bengal not only raises eyebrow but makes any sane individual shell-shocked also.

Hindus consider patriotism or Rashtra Bhakti as a worship or Rashtra Aradhana and despite brutal persecutions on them by Islamic canons and military onslaughts through centuries, the same has remained as basics of Hindu culture in the Indian subcontinent. However, the community that sacrificed most to oust the iniquitous British Empire got a raw deal during partition. Fate of Bengali Hindus was sealed during partition and later on and the same has been going on till date.

But the victimization of Hindus in the Indian state of Bengal is a new phenomenon and its exponential rise authenticates the community’s fast downfall. In Bangladesh, several human rights groups take up issues of Hindu or minority persecutions and do their best to have justice. In Indian Bengal there is no one since Hinduism, here, is taboo; environment is under the aegis of secularism.

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