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Tripura: Video of ‘ascetic’ dragged down temple stairs goes viral, here’s what happened

A video clip of the incident has gone viral on social media since then, triggering angry response from netizens. Two days later, the local administration has informed that the man was not an ascetic but posed like one.

A grab of the video that appeared on Tripura CPIM’s official Facebook page.

On Thursday evening, a middle-aged ascetic was dragged by two boys down the stairs of Tripurasundari Temple at Udaipur, 50 Km from Agartala. A video clip of the incident has gone viral on social media since then, triggering an angry response from netizens. Two days later, the local administration has informed that the man was not an ascetic but posed like one.

Tripurasundari Temple is one of the 51 Hindu Shaktipeethas and is considered a holy shrine. According to Tripura Rajmala, the royal chronicle of Tripura’s Manikya kings, Maharaja Dhanya Manikya Bahadur constructed the temple in 1501 after getting a ‘Swapnadesh’ or divine order from the Supreme Mother or ‘Aadishakti’ in his dream.

Lakhs of devotees gather here on Diwali every year to offer their prayers. A huge group of ascetics and monks also show up every year during this time of the year to take ‘holy dip’ in Lake Kalyansagar – a pond adjoining the temple, which was built by the monarchs.

One among this group of ascetics was manhandled by two youths, who pulled his two arms and dragged him down the stairs of the temple on Wednesday. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Gomati District Magistrate, who is also de facto ‘sevait’ of the temple, said he held an enquiry about the incident and came to know that the person was not an ascetic but a government employee, serving under Public Works Department.

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In a letter to the Udaipur Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Officer-in-Charge of Radhakishorepur police station wrote that the ‘ascetic’ was identified as Shankar Chandra Naha and was taken in police custody against an FIR lodged against him two days back.

The FIR was lodged by a person identified as Sanjit Das of adjoining Fulkumarj village on October 23, accusing Naha of restraining him and attacking him with an iron ‘trishul’. The complainant was later treated at Tripurasundari District Hospital.

Naha, who was dressed as an ascetic, was seated among other monks in Tripurasundari Temple premises on Thursday evening when he purportedly engaged in a ruckus.

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“….Shankar Ch. Naha was creating a nuisance and assaulted one person at Matabari, then the local public detained him and handed over to the police…”, the police official informed in his letter. He also said Naha was manhandled by the public and sustained injuries in the process. He was taken into custody and admitted at the district hospital for treatment. His ‘trishul’ was taken into custody as well.

Meanwhile, opposition CPI (M) has protested the issue on social media and termed it ‘inhuman’ and ‘dangerous’. The video clip, which was shared by many, was also shared on the party’s official Facebook page with questions on the role of the administration.

First published on: 25-10-2019 at 07:03:05 pm
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