Maharashtra: Kanifnath Mandir pujari & devotees attacked for singing bhajans

On Monday (13th November), Hindu devotees including several women and the priest at Kanifnath temple were brutally assaulted by Fanatics in Ahmednagar’s Rahuri region for performing Bhajans on the occasion of Diwali. The accused persons have been identified as Raju Sheikh, Rajjak Sattar, Nasir, Ibrahim and 40 others. The accused persons attacked the Hindus in a group, the video of which has gone viral over the internet.

The Fanatics in the video could be seen hitting the Hindu devotees and also slapping women who had arrived at the spot to perform Bhajans. The Hindus while exclusively talking to OpIndia said that this is the case of land jihad.

Babulal Rathore, a local journalist, told OpIndia that the incident took place at an ancient religious place in Guha village. While the Hindus call it the Samadhi of Saint Kanifnath Maharaj, the Muslims of this village and the surrounding areas claim it to be the Dargah of the Pir. They claim that the land is reserved and belongs to the Waqf Board.

The Hindu community alleges that about a year ago, some people of the Muslim community removed the saffron clothes placed on the Samadhi of Saint Kanifnath and spread a green sheet on it instead. Since then, there has been tension at this location.

The Hindu pujari and the Hindu devotees were beaten by the Fanatics on 13th November on the occasion of Deepavali Amavasya. The Hindus had organized Kirtan-Bhajan and Bhandara at the religious place as a traditional practice. It is alleged that between 8:30 and 9:00 in the morning, about 40 people entered the prayer place. This mob was led by Raju Dagu Shaikh, Razzaq Dagu Shaikh, Sattar Bashir Shaikh, Nasir Fatu Shaikh, and Ibrahim Ismail Shaikh.

They all attacked people doing kirtan and bhajan without saying anything. It is additionally stated that the attackers were armed with sticks and rods. Along with women and children, priest Shankar Kishan Majre was beaten up during this attack. Some devotees were also injured in this unexpected incident.

The police have taken cognizance of the event and are getting all of them medically examined. In the viral video, the crowd could also be heard saying ‘kill him’ while beating the priest in saffron clothes. In another video, women could be heard screaming.

The police reached the spot immediately after being informed about the incident. The accused persons in the mob fled from the spot after seeing the police. Later the Hindu community in the city came to know about the incident after which they gathered at the location and demanded strict action against the accused.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at Rahuri police station on Monday (13th November). The police have registered a case based on the complaint filed by Hindus and have begun an investigation. There is no information about any arrests yet. Police say that action is being taken against the accused. There is peace in the village at present.

OpIndia spoke with Rishikesh, a Hindu organization worker who was present at the police station. Rishikesh informed that the Sant Kanifnath Samadhi Temple is approximately 400 years old and has long been the center of the Hindu faith. He contends that Muslims only started calling it the Dargah of Ramzani Shah 10 years ago. According to Rishikesh Bangre, the Muslim side’s claim is a plot to seize approximately 40 bighas of land at the Samadhi site.

According to Rishikesh, last year in January 2022, Muslims created communal tensions by kicking the Bhandara Prasad of the temple. Rishikesh further told us that the priest Shankar Kishan Majre has been performing puja in the temple for the past several years. He is a resident of Guha village. Rishikesh also says that 10 years ago Muslims staked their claim on it and every year they are making this dispute bigger.

OpIndia has obtained a copy of the FIR filed in the incident. According to the FIR, 62 accused persons have been identified who assaulted the Hindu devotees and also threatened them to death for singing Bhajans.

Some of the names of the accused persons are Isak Sheikh, Maimuna Sheikh, Sattar Sheikh, Ismail Sheikh, Rajjak, Salima, Ibrahim, Shaukat, Asif, Haziz and others. These persons have been booked under sections 324, 143, 147, 148, 149, 323, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

So far, 10 individuals have been arrested by the Police based on the complaint filed by Pujari Shankar Manjre. Further investigations in the case are underway.

Source : OpIndia

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