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Gujarat: Unidentified miscreants pelt stones at Shiva temple; uproot and throw saffron flag in the drain, investigation underway

The priest of the temple told OpIndia how such incidents occur every year when Navrati is around the corner and urged the authorities to investigate the matter thoroughly.

A Hindu temple has been vandalized in Umreth, the taluka seat of Gujarat’s Anand district, a few days before the auspicious annual 9-day long Hindu festival Navratri commences on October 15. The incident reportedly took place late at night on Wednesday, October 11, when some unidentified miscreants tore and threw the saffron flag installed in the temple and also tried to damage the Shivling placed in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum and the Nandi idol placed outside.

The incident reportedly occurred at the Shree Siddhnath Mahadev temple which is situated on the banks of a lake near Odd Bazar, located in Anand’s Umreth. This is the same area where recently, a Muslim mob stormed the Chandramaulishwar Mahadev temple and nearby areas with swords and sticks after an argument broke out between Hindus and Muslims over the molestation of minor Hindu girls by Muslim youths.

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s incident, some unidentified miscreants hurled stones at the Shree Siddhnath Mahadev temple and vandalised the saffron flag placed there. They also tried to damage the idols of Nandi and the Shivling, but they failed in their attempts, as the iron gates of the sanctum sanctorum in which the Shivling is placed were locked and the Nandi idol, though placed outside in the open, is made of stone hence it could not be damaged.

The incident came to the fore when the following morning, on Thursday, October 12, the temple priest and a few worshippers arrived at the temple. They saw that the safforn flag placed on top of the temple was missing and there were stones and bricks thrown inside the temple premises. Upon searching, the devotees found the safforn flag thrown in a nearby drain, after which they informed the police.

Some videos have been circulating on social media, in which stones and bricks are seen scattered around the temple.

Local Hindus speak to OpIndia

Since the incident failed to grab mainstream media attention, OpIndia contacted local sources to delve into the details of the incident. We were told that a similar incident had occurred there a few years ago, due to which fencing was erected around the temple. We were also told that every night, until around 11 p.m., local Hindu youths keep sitting around the temple premises, which is why the miscreants chose to attack the temple around midnight.

The local Hindus accused some local Muslim youths of being behind the incident. They alleged that four youths were involved in the vandalism, however, they could not be identified.

A dargah is just 200 meters away, such incidents happen before every Navratri: What did the temple priest tell OpIndia

OpIndia also spoke to the temple priest who confirmed that the safforn flag was placed in the temple only three or four days back. He added that the miscreants pulled down the saffron flag that was placed on the back gate of the temple and threw it in the drain. He also revealed how he saw stones and bricks scattered around the temple premises.

He revealed that there is the dargah of Jorawar Pir Bawa just 200 meters away from the temple. Further, calling it a matter that needs to be investigated thoroughly, he lamented how such incidents occur every year when Navrati is around the corner.

What the police said

OpIndia spoke to PSI Ghanshyamsinh Pavara of Umreth Police Station who said that the police found stones and bricks lying outside the temple.

While, in the viral video, one can clearly see small pieces of stone lying outside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, which possibly got stuck to the mesh fence placed outside, the PSI said, “We feel that this is the work of drunken people as there is no stone pelting in the sanctum sanctorum or any attempt to damage the temple.” Nobody has been named as of yet. An investigation is being conducted.”

When local Muslims in the Umreth area in Gujarat held the area hostage

On Sunday, June 6, around midnight, a Muslim mob with weapons stormed the roads of Umreth and held the entire area hostage. The incident took place two days after the molestation of 2 Hindu minors by Muslim youths in the area.

According to reports, there was a dispute between the Hindu-Muslim community in Umreth, the taluka headquarters of Anand district, over the molestation of two Hindu minor girls, and around Sunday night, a Muslim mob stormed the area near the Chandramuleshwar Mahadev temple with swords and sticks, creating an atmosphere of fear in Umreth.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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