A temple in a Jewar village was allegedly vandalised by unknown persons in the intervening night of November 7 and 8, police said.
“We were informed about statues being damaged in Nagla Ganeshi village of Jewar. We have registered an FIR under IPC sections 295 (injury to place of worship) and 427 (mischief causing damage) against unknown persons. Over 100 policemen were deployed on the road leading to the village to prevent communal tension. We are questioning villagers to verify if there were any eyewitness,” Superintendent of Police (Rural) Vineet Jaiswal said.
Manohar, the temple priest who filed the complaint, said: “My son and I left at 6.30 pm after evening prayers. It was the night of Diwali… We came back around 4 am for morning prayers and found that statues of Ram and Sita had been broken. Soon, a huge crowd gathered and there was commotion.”
The temple priest claimed no one from the village had witnessed the incident. “At this point, no villager can point out who did it, but we are sure it was done to raise tension in the village since broken statues are considered a bad omen. Also, it was done on Diwali night,” he said.
According to police, new statues were purchased from Agra by the administration and installed within a day to defuse the situation. Officials from the administration, including the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Jewar), also engaged in talks with villagers to maintain calm. “A few villagers tried to block the Jewar road in protest, but the situation was resolved,” said SP Jaiswal.
According to sources, the temple land falls under the area being acquired for the Jewar airport project. It was constructed around 200 years ago.
Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh said, “I have been in touch with villagers and have asked them to maintain peace. I believe this is the design of an outsider. Even during the protest, people who do not belong to the village joined in. People from all faiths live together in this village.”