Agartala: While people across the world were celebrating Eid al-Adha on Monday, about 60 Muslim families living in Icha Bazar, about 10 km from Agartala, were forced to avoid the celebrations after they received threats from miscreants against animal sacrifice.
Speaking with EastMojo, Subal Miah (42), who lives in the vicinity of Icha bazaar Mosque, said that both Hindus and Muslims have been living in the area for the past four decades now, but were never stopped by anyone from celebrating Eid al-Adha.
“After a group of miscreants threatened us to avoid the sacrifice of animals, which we do usually every year, we have decided not to celebrate Eid this year. Now, we have no other option but to boycott Eid celebrations,” he said.
“Had they asked us earlier to avert the celebration by sacrificing animals, we would have not purchased anything by spending huge amounts of money. Now, that we have already spent up to Rs 70,000 in purchasing animals for sacrificing on Eid, we feel helpless,” Miah said.
Speaking with EastMojo, Hanupa Khatun (52), with tears in her eyes, said, “Nobody has ever stopped us from sacrificing animals till date. We have purchased them by spending huge amounts but now, we are not able to celebrate.”
“On Sunday night, a group of miscreants chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan came at our place and started threatening us with dare consequences if we don’t stop the sacrifice of animals. We have purchased cow and goat which cost around Rs 60,000, now what will we do with that? We kept on waiting for the administration to step in and help us in celebrating the day, but so far nobody has helped us. Those boys belonged to the Visva Hindu Parishad (VHP),” Khatun said.
“Neither did we perform the rituals of Eid this year nor have we prepared food for the family members. We keep on waiting for this day for the whole year and now, we are not allowed to celebrate the day.”
“We didn’t read the namaz as well. We also met with police, MLA and DM concerned, but haven’t got any positive response from them,” Begam said.
Condemning the situation, CPM state committee member Pabitra Kar said, “The minorities have the right to celebrate their day. Due to lack of security, such incident has taken place. During our government, such things never happened. Six months ago, the same group had removed the loudspeakers from the mosque there. We condemned it.”
Meanwhile, Tripura Congress vice-president Tapash Dey said that the ruling BJP is trying to destroy the communal harmony of the state. “Neither the government nor the ruling BJP is taking any action against those persons who are indulged in destroying the communal harmony of the state,” Dey said.
Meanwhile, reacting on the issue, ruling BJP spokesperson, Nabendu Bhattacharya, said that VHP is an independent body and the ruling BJP has no relation with them. “We do not endorse any kind of violence or an act that would disturb the communal harmony of the state. This can also be a conspiracy of the opposition CPM to disturb the communal harmony,” he told EastMojo.
West Tripura district secretary of VHP, Partha Pratim Sarkar, said, “No one from our organisation was involved in such activities and we don’t have any unit in that area. This might be an act of local people. However, we condemn the sacrifice of animals by any means and we shall try our best to stop people from practising it too.”