Bihar: Fire at two temples in Kishanganj, locals allege miscreants set them ablaze, police claim ‘accidental fire’

Image via OpIndia Hindi

Two temples were set on fire and idols were damaged in two temples in Kishanganj, Bihar at the early hours today. A Durga temple and a Hanuman Temple were destroyed in the incident that took place at around 3 AM on 12 March at Mastan Chowk in Bagalbari Panchayat in Kochadhaman block of Kishanganj district. The fire also destroyed the nearby shops. No arrests have been made so far.

A police team reached the spot as soon as they received the information. The fire was put out by the villagers with the assistance of the police. Police and magistrates were deployed together at different places to tackle the sensitive situation.

Idols in both temples were damaged by the fire, including a Shivling and other idols. While the cause of the fire is known yet, locals have alleged that mischievous elements set the Hindu temples on fire. However, police have denied it, and said that it was an accident.

Police have released a statement and called it ‘accidental fire.’ Locals however are refusing to accept this version, and protested demanding action in the case.

After the incident, local Hindus blocked the  Kishanganj-Bahadurganj main road demanding the arrest of the accused within 24 hours, causing a blockade of traffic. Senior police officials reached the spot and were able to convince the protestors to end the blockade by 10 AM.

Hindu organizations and their members sat on strike. A number of BJP politicians also arrived at the protest location and joined in. Demonstrators were also calling for the installation of CCTV cameras all around the temple, along with the demand for the reconstruction of the temples and restoration of the idols by the government. Bricks and other building materials were brought by the administration for the reconstruction of the temples in response to public demand.

While the people have been alleging that the temples were deliberately set on fire by someone, the police have appealed to them to not make any false claims, saying that it was an accidental fire. The police also threatened action against spreading rumours regarding the incident.

Issuing a press release, the Superintendent of Police of Kishanganj said that there was an accidental fire in the temple, which has been brought under control. ‘In this regard, common citizens and media are requested not to spread false rumours in this regard. If rumours are spread, strict action will be taken as per the law,’ the statement said.

Kishanganj SP Inam Ul Haq said that there was an accidental fire at Mastan Chowk of Kochadhaman police station area at around 3.30 AM in the night. As soon as the information was received, the fire was brought under control with the help of firefighting vehicles. Four shops and a temple have been affected in this incident.

He added that the situation is under control at present, the blockade of the road has been lifted, and there is no law and order issue. ‘Work is being done for the restoration of the affected temple with the participation of the administration and the local people,’ the SP added.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia