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Exclusive: Islamists in Mominpore wanted local Hindu Dalits to stop Lakshmi Puja, remove pandals of Durga Puja

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The Hindu community in the Mominpore locality of Kolkata in West Bengal was attacked by Islamists on Sunday (October 9), coinciding with the Eid-Milad-Un-Nabi celebrations.

Opindia has now learnt that the Hindus were targeted by Islamists for refusing to dismantle the Durga Puja pandals, ahead of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad.

A Kolkata-based journalist, who is privy to the incident, informed, “Mominpore is a Muslim-dominated area. There are small pockets where Hindus live.” He stated that a Durga Puja pandal, located close to the Jnan Chandra Ghosh Polytechnic college, was the primary target of the Islamists.

According to the journalist, who chose to stay anonymous to avoid backlash from the Mamata Banerjee government, the Durga Puja conducted by the Harijan Durgosave Committee (comprising of Hindu Dalits) were intimidated by the local Muslims.

“Muslims in the area have been pressuring them to remove the pandal and stop the conduct of Lakshmi Puja,” he informed. “In West Bengal, wherever Durga Puja is celebrated, it is mandatory to worship Goddess Lakshmi at the same site,” the journalist added.

While the Hindu Dalits were being coerced into submission since the time of Durga Puja, they refused to relent. In their defence, the Harijan Durgosave Committee informed that the Durga pandal could only be removed after the conduct of Lakshmi Puja.

This however did not sit well with the local Muslims, who came in droves to vandalise the pandal, pelt stones and damage vehicles on Sunday (October 9).

“They coerced the Ekbalpur police station to register a case against Hindus, who are associated with the Puja committee. They also carried out targeted attacks on Hindu homes and looted shops belonging to the Hindu community,” the Kolkata-based journalist added.

He pointed out that the Islamists, who attacked the Hindus, are still at large. “Their target was to force a demography change and remove Hindus from these pockets,” a member of a Hindu rights organisation said.

On being asked about police absence when Islamists ambushed the Ekbalpur police station, the Hindu activist said, “The police seemed completely helpless. Such an attack is not possible without some degree of political backing.”

“After the imposition of Section 144, things are a bit of control,” he emphasised about the ongoing situation in Mominpore.

Mominpore anti-Hindu riots: Here is what we know so far

Opindia had earlier reported how Islamists vandalised bikes and shops belonging to Hindus at Maila Depot in Mominpore. According to West Bengal BJP Chief Sukanta Majumdar, the Hindu community has been forced to flee after their houses came under attack in Mayurbhanj in the Kolkata port area.

BJP leader Pritam Sur also shared scary visuals where miscreants were seen unleashing mayhem on the streets. He tweeted, “Bombs and bricks are being hurled at us. Even the police are forced to flee. The situation is so grim that the face of democracy is blackened on the occasion of Lakshmi Puja.”

Under the allegation that an Islamic flag was desecrated, the accused also ambushed the Ekbalpur police station and forced the cops to flee. They were also seen waving Islamic flags.

Suvendu Adhikari wrote to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and sought urgent deployment of central forces in the region to protect the Hindu community that came under attack from the Islamists.

According to Twitter user Syed Ishtiyaque Alam, Mominpore anti-Hindu violence was the handiwork of Ghulam Asraf (Phoenix group owner), Rehan Khan (son-in-law of a TMC councillor), and Shahbaz Alam (a close aide of TMC leader Firhad Hakim).


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