In a shocking incident which should be dominating news headlines across the country, Hindu women performing Vat Savitri Puja in Jashpur Nagar, Chattisgarh on Monday were left aghast when a Muslim man threw a polythene bag filled with urine on them.
A complaint was lodged against the accused, Zaheer Khan, that night. Angry and disgusted locals demanded strict action, including expelling Khan from the district. On Wesnesday, the entire town of Jashpur Nagar remained closed in protest. Several women gathered in Purnanagar area, where the incident took place, and expressed discontent with police. Khan has been arrested under IPC 295 and sent to jail.
As per Durga Devi, she and other women of the area were observing Vat Savitri Puja in which married women gather under a banyan tree and worship to bring happiness to their marriage. They tie a thread around the tree 7 times and perform parikrama while observing vrat (fast) that day. Vat Savitri Puja and fast are observed on the Amavasya Tithi of the Jyeshtha month of the Hindu lunar calendar.
As the women were worshipping, the accused youth came on the spot and started doing an objectionable act. The women protested and told him to go away. He made an offensive comment and left, but returned after some time and continued with his antics, throwing a bag full of urine at them.
Predictably, claims have emerged that Khan was ‘inebriated’. This is a common tactic used to deflect attention away from the religious indoctrination and monotheistic supremacism that fuels such anti-Hindu bigotry.
Addressing a gathering in Rani Bageecha, MP Gomati Sai took aim at three local Congress MLAs. She questioned their silence on the shocking hate crime, and said they would have gone ballistic if any other religion had been targeted. Just taking photos in front of temples is not enough, but one has to stand with Hindu society in their time of need. Several other BJP leaders too attended the gathering.
In a letter to the district administration, villagers demanded that Khan be additionally charged under the SC/ST Act, outraging modesty of women, disturbing peace and that he be expelled from the district. Women warned that if the administration did not take the matter seriously, they would resort to fierce protests.