The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday, October 2, informed that the Bargheshekha Bhagwati Mata temple situated at Mattan Mountain ridge in J&K’s Anantnag district has been vandalized by unidentified miscreants. According to police officials, the information was shared by some sources at around 2 PM on the day of the incident.
Miscreants desecrate Bargheshekha Bhagwati Mata temple
“After receiving the information, a case under section 295, 427, of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered and investigation has been set into motion,” informed the Police. “Considering the sensitivity of the case, a special investigation team was constituted by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Anantnag which was headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DYSP) Anantnag,” the officials added, as reported by ANI.
Police have also informed that the miscreants did not only damage the structure of the temple but also targeted the murtis installed inside it; the murti of Kul Devi Mata seated in the sanctum sanatorium of the Bargheshekha Bhagwati Mata temple has been destroyed completely. Investigations are underway and the administration has urged people to not pay attention to any kinds of rumor which may disrupt the peace of the union territory. DIG, Anantnag along with other senior police officers have inspected the site of crime and obtained necessary information.
President of Martand Purohit Sabha, Ashok Kumar Sidha condemned the attack and called it a shameful attempt to hurt the religious sentiments of the people. He also thanked the management for taking prompt notice of the incident. Former J&K Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, and General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir’s Apni Party Rafi Ahmed Mir have also strongly criticized the incident. Though Anantnag is a comparatively peaceful district the act of desecration of this ancient heritage temple has angered Kashmiri pandits.
Kashmiri Pandits protest
Their demand for bringing the offenders to justice is rising as well. Taking note of the ire of the people, the state administration has directed the senior superintendent of police and deputy commissioner to complete the investigation at the earliest. Kashmiri Pandits who have put up at the Jagti migrant camp in Jammu had staged a demonstration demanding penalties for the culprits of the reprehensible act and chanting slogans against them on Saturday, late evening.
Though the incident is under investigation and a fair investigation is desired from the police of the union territory, the incident has shaken the confidence of the Kashmiri Pandits in the district. Kashmiri Pandits have been victims of Islamist terrorism and have suffered one of the greatest genocides of modern times at the hands of Muslim extremists whom they had known as friends and neighbors.
During the Kashmiri Pandit massacre of the 1990s, numerous temples were destroyed. Over 200 Hindu temples have suffered major destructions at the hands of Islamist militancy in the past two decades; the highest number of such vandalism took place in Srinagar. On the other hand, 56 temples were ransacked in the district of Anantnag during the years of insurgency.
After three decades of displacement, Kashmiri Pandits have finally been given the assurance of safety in their homeland by the BJP government helmed by Prime Minister Modi. Efforts are being made to resettle the KP community in the union territory; however, these efforts haven’t gone down well with the Islamists in the region.
The attack on one of the heritage sites of the Hindus may again shake the KP’s spirits which may lead them to question their decision of making a return, which doesn’t augur well for the victimized and harassed population. Hence, it is only acceptable that the administration nabs the culprits who attacked the Hindu shrine in the district and subjects them to severe and exemplary punishment that would act as a warning for any anti-social and criminal elements causing destructions of any Hindu shrine.