Tension flares in Bundi, Rajasthan, as Hindus stopped from performing Puja at Mandhata ki Chatri

Communal tension gripped Tiger Hill in Bundi, Rajasthan, after conducting of Mandhata Puja in Tiger Hill was objected to by people of ‘particular community’ as there is a Dargah nearby. Media reports have not specified which community was opposing the Puja. The conducting of Puja was opposed since the entry to the temple and the dargah is common, which could lead to communal discord.

Internet services have been suspended in the area till 3rd January in a bid to stop further flaring of communal tension and section 144 has been imposed which prohibits unlawful assembly of people.

As per reports, the call to conduct the Puja on 1st January at the temple was called by religious group, but the same was denied by the authorities since it was against the decision of the peace-keeping committee. To prevent any untoward incident, the police had made arrangements to block the movement of worshippers. However, devotees in large number thronged the venue and when police tried to stop them, the crowd started marching, following which police carried out lathicharge on the devotees. This led to communal tension in the town. Additional forces from nearby cities like Jaipur have been called in. Heavy checking of vehicles and buses coming into the city was being conducted to prevent activists from coming to the city.

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The Mandhata Balaji cenotaph is believed to have been constructed by the queen of Bundi in the memory of her nephew but in 1942 the cenotaph was demolished after lightening struck it.

Last year in April, too, devotees were stopped from carrying out restoration work at the temple which led to communal tension and section 144 was imposed.

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