Tripura: Temple-graveyard dispute triggers tension, section 144 imposed  
Muslim locals stage protest against temple like structure in their burial ground

Agartala: The administration in West Tripura on Tuesday imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the Thanda Kali Bari area of Nandanagar on the outskirts of Agartala city after members of the Muslim community staged a road blockade demanding encroachment in their graveyard be cleared immediately.

The locals alleged that some people had put up a temple-like structure in a Muslim burial place. The situation turned volatile after people of both religions began to gather in the area. Prohibitory orders were put in place to stop further escalation of communal tensions. The blockade was withdrawn after positive assurances from the Deputy Collector Magistrate Sadar sub-division.

“……a report has been received from the Sub-Divisional Police Officer of New Capital Complex regarding the prevalence of high tension and apprehension of breach of the peace at Nandanagar near the Thandha Kalibari area due to communal disharmony. It is apprehended that there is every possibility of further Law & Order ”, the order reads.

The order further urged the cops to enforce the orders with immediate effect to ensure no breach of peace. “…..based on the report, I am satisfied that there is an urgent need for the issue of Prohibitory Order to maintain public tranquillity otherwise there may be deterioration of Law & Order. The Order shall remain in force from 1100 Hrs. of 5th July till further order within the area specified above”, the order adds.

Angered by the temple-like structure on land claimed to be used for post-death rituals of Muslims, locals brought the vehicular movement to a standstill. One of the agitators, Noor Islam alleged that it was an act of land mafias active in the area who are interested in the land. “For years, they have tried all unfair means to get possession of the land. We have spoken to Minority Welfare Minister Ratan Lal Nath and sent out deputations to the concerned officials umpteen numbers of times since 2019. We have been told that the graveyard would be demarcated soon but all these assurances never reached the stage of implementation”, said Islam.

He said the demand is simple: the temple must be cleared from land belonging to the Muslims.

Meanwhile, Hindu Yuva Vahini supporters said the land belonged to Hindus. “The land was exchanged in 1964. All the crucial documents are with locals. The Muslim people have been trying to snatch the land belonging to the Hindu community people, which should not be entertained,” said one of the leaders of Hindu Yuva Vahini.

Hindu Yuva Vahini is an organisations that regards UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as its chief patron. The organisations’ banners and flags were put up with photos of Yogi Adityanath surrounding the makeshift temple.

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