UP temple 'purified' after Muslim MLA's visit

by IANS |

Siddhartha Nagar, Nov 28 (IANS) Members of Hindu outfits sprinkled 'Gangajal' on a temple in Uttar Pradesh's Siddharth Nagar district on Monday to “purify” it after a Muslim MLA visited the shrine.

Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator from Domariaganj, Saiyada Khatoon, said that she was invited by the administration of the Samya Mata temple in Balwa village of Siddharth Nagar district to attend an event on Sunday.

After the Ram Katha event, the Chairman of the local panchayat and members of some other Hindu organisations visited the temple on Monday, sprinkled Gangajal, recited the Hanuman Chalisa, and shouted slogans against Khatoon, police said.

Dharmaraj Verma, Chairman, Barhni Chafa Nagar Panchayat, said, “Samya Mata Mandir is a centre of faith for devotees. People throng the temple with a dedication that was disrespected by the local MLA. She is non-vegetarian and her visit affected the sanctity of the place.”

He was accompanied by members of different Hindu organisations, including Santosh Paswan, Mithlesh Pandey, Vijai Madhesia and Pramod Gautam.

Verma said that he sprinkled Gangajal on the temple to “purify” it.

Domariaganj Circle Officer Sujit Kumar Rai said that a police team was patrolling the area to avert the possibility of any confrontation and added that they have not received any complaint in connection with the incident yet. “We will take appropriate action if a complaint is filed in this regard,” he added.

Rai also said that local villagers had constituted an organising committee for the Ram Katha, headed by Shrikant Shukla, secretary of the organising committee and Pujari Prasad, head priest of the temple, and had invited the SP leader.

“We are inquiring into the incident and keeping a close eye on the development,” said the Superintendent of Police, Siddharth Nagar, Abhishek Kumar Agarwal.

Khatoon said, “I respect all religions. Moreover, I am a public representative. Be it a temple or a mosque, I will surely go there if I am invited.”

Renovation of various temples was funded by her MLA local area development fund, she added.

This is not the first time that such an incident has happened at a temple in Uttar Pradesh. In 2018, a temple in Hamirpur district was purified with Gangajal after a Dalit woman lawmaker, from the Bhartiya Janata Party, entered the temple.

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