On Friday, a massive controversy broke out during the Chhath Puja programme in Belthara Road city in Pokhara village in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, reported Jagran. As per the report, some people of the Muslim community interrupted the festival celebrations and claimed that the land, where the religious event was underway, was a cemetery ground and opposed the festival. This soon culminated into an atmosphere of fear and tension between the two religious communities.
Reportedly, a village resident named Tausif had called for a ban on the Chhath puja celebrations by claiming that the land is a graveyard. Following the controversy, the district administration intervened and removed the temporary tents set up by Hindus on the occasion of Chhath puja. However, the women devotees nevertheless continued with the festivities amid tension.
Led by the female Pradhan (head) of the village, Kaushilya Devi, the demand for an inquiry into the matter was placed before Tehsildar Jitendra Singh by the villagers. They complained that an attempt was underway to encroach upon the property. Meanwhile, Tehsildar Jitendra Singh has constituted a team of four accountants to verify the land records and ascertain whether the land indeed is a graveyard. He informed that an on-site inspection witll be carried out in a day to verify the claims.
Update: After this report was published, Ballia police said that the clash was due to a land dispute. They informed that a team of revenue department has been formed to look into the matter and resolve the land dispute.
The Ballia police said that after the incident, police officials visited the location, and there no law and order problem in the area at present. They added that police is keeping a close eye on the matter, and the situation is under control.