A couple of weeks after a man wanting to join ISIS was arrested in Himachal Pradesh, another incident has sent the Himalayan state in shock. A temple in the Solan district of the state has been defaced with “ISIS coming soon” written over its walls.
The incident happened in the Dharampur village where local children and devotees spotted something written in English and Arabic over the entrance of the temple. They apprised the local panchayat chief of the matter, who reported the same to the police.
When police arrived, they found that “ISIS coming soon” was written on the walls of the temple. They took help of local people who could read Arabic or Urdu to decipher the rest. It was found that the part written in Arabic script was “la ilaha illallah” i.e. “there is no God but Allah” which is first part of the Islamic Shahada.
The police is investigating the case and nothing is known about the culprits yet. Some reports suggest that such scribbling was also left on a house opposite the temple as well.
The concerned temple is situated at Kalka-Shimla national highway and is known as Manasa Devi temple.
Looking at the pictures, it appears that stencils were used to print these slogans, perhaps to hide the handwriting of the culprit, which could have been a clue in the case.
The incident has left the locals worried as the state has largely been peaceful and such incidents were not reported earlier. However, it comes on the heels of arrest of a person named Abid Khan, who was a resident of Bengaluru but was hiding in Himanchal Pradesh with a fake identity.
Abid was reported to be in touch with ISIS operatives and he himself wanted to join the terrorist organisation. He was living in Himachal for last five months under a fake Christian identity and was arrested from a Church.
Although there is no proof currently available to directly link the two incidents, this surely has sent the alarm bells ringing both among the residents as well as among the security agencies.