A couple of days ago, a video of a man in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad thrashing a Muslim boy for allegedly drinking water at a temple had gone viral on the internet. The video sparked outrage, with left-leaning liberals falling over themselves to paint Muslims as victims and Hindus as oppressors. Now an interview with one of the locals in the region, who is also a pandit at the temple, has brought to fore the other side of the story.
In an interview with a media outlet, one of the locals alleged that the criminal activities of the Muslim men are being encouraged by downplaying them as innocent boys and not men. He added that Asif, whose video of being thrashed in the temple had gone viral, was wrongfully depicted as an innocent boy. The pandit said Asif was not in the temple compound to drink water but to harass the Hindu girls and steal artefacts and other things.
“There are two government taps right outside the temple building. There is another tap for drinking water right after the entrance of the temple and yet he (Asif) was found at the far end of the temple compound. He was not here for drinking water. These people routinely enter the temple compound for harassing the Hindu girls, defiling the temples and Hindu deities or stealing things. Why would anyone enter the temple compound and walk 500 meters for drinking water when the water is available right outside the temple compound?” the pandit said.
Asif beaten because he was caught stealing something: Local
The man rubbished the reports claiming that Asif was thrashed for being a Muslim. He contended that he was beaten because people have been caught indulging in antisocial activities at the temple compound.
“This has been a pattern for a few years now. These people (Muslims) are often caught making indecent remarks on Hindu Gods. They are also caught stealing steel pipes and other things from the compound. He (Asif) was also found stealing something. The story that he was in the temple for drinking water is simply hogwash. He is not the only one. There are, at least 50 Muslims like him, who enter the temple compound with the aim of stealing valuables. When they are caught, they claim innocence by claiming they were in the compound for drinking water,” he said.
The pandit contended that men from the other community in the region enter temple premises during day hours for recce purposes and later in the night carry out robberies. He cited 4 instances of dacoities when valuables in the temple compound were stolen.
Board preventing entries to Muslim was put up after some Muslims were found urinating and spitting on Shivling: Local resident
The man also pointed towards the board outside the temple compound which read that Muslims are not allowed to enter inside. He said the board is not a recent development and is in place for the last 8-10 years. He also said that the board was put up when the Samajwadi Party was in power.
Elaborating when the hoarding barring the entry of Muslims in the temple compound was put up, the Hindu priest said, “There were routine conflicts between the Hindus and the Muslims in the region. The Muslim men and boys used to enter the temple compound and defile the deities and temples. They urinated, spat on the Shivling at the entrance, after which it was decided that a board preventing the entry of Muslims will be mounted on the main gate of the temple compound.”
The man further explained that only Muslims who indulge in stealing things, desecrating Hindu temples and idols, and harassing girls are stopped from entering. Well-intentioned Muslims are not stopped from entering the compound. He said that Muslims in the area routinely bath in the pond located inside the temple compound and is known for healing skin diseases.
“This board will never be taken down. This board has been put up to protect the honour of our mothers, sisters and daughters. We have not put it up to bring it down,” the pandit emphatically said when asked if the board preventing entries to Muslims will ever be taken down.