July 29, 2016 4:37:59 am
TENSION PREVAILED in Deoband area of Saharanpur district after idols of Hindu lords in a temple were found vandalised on Wednesday morning. While the suspect, belonging to the Muslim community, was caught and beaten up by locals before he was handed over to the police, the gates of a religious structure of his community was found damaged late at night.
While Hindu groups and local women staged a demonstration demanding the police take strict action against the culprits, local BJP MP Raghav Lakhan Pal announced that a mahapanchayat would be held at the temple on July 31 if all the accused were not arrested by Sunday.
Police have arrested one Sadik for allegedly damaging the idols and lodged an FIR against some unidentified men. Officers claimed Sadik appeared to be mentally-challenged.
Saharanpur SSP Pradeep Yadav, while claiming that a temple had been vandalised in Deoband, said: “No other structure was damaged… It is just rumour mongering. Police force have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.”
Deoband police station SHO Bijendra Singh, however, said a religious structure of the Muslim community was damaged by unidentified miscreants late Wednesday night. Following this, members of the community approached the police, demanding that an FIR be lodged. “The structure was damaged by some unidentified miscreants late night. We, however, got it repaired in the night itself and the situation is under control,’ he added.
Police said Sadik allegedly entered Dondia temple near Shastri Chowk in the morning and vandalised the idols. Locals claimed they had caught the youth inside the temple carrying a hammer. They had claimed two idols were found lying damaged.
Later, locals staged a demonstration at the police station and blocked Vankhandi Road, demanding immediate arrest of other accused.
When contacted, Saharanpur BJP MP Raghav Lalhan Pal said: “Sadik was caught by the locals. The police have not done anything till now. Though the devotees are annoyed, I have urged them to give the police some time to take appropriate action. If the other accused were not arrested till by July 30, we will hold a mahapanchayat on Sunday.”
Asked about damage to the structure of the Muslim community, Pal claimed: “The allegation is false… they were cooking it up to divert attention.”
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