Bajrang Dal protests alleged ‘removal’ of temple from IIT Indore in 2017

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: October 30, 2019

Bajrang Dal activists claim shrine of Lord Hanuman demolished


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Image Courtesy: edexlive.com

Activists from the right-wing organization Bajrang Dal on Thursday last week staged a protest at Simrol police station in Indore claiming that a Lord Hanuman temple on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore had been removed without consultation of the locals, reported The Free Press Journal.

Today, there is a gym at the site of the shrine.

Activists claim that the shrine had been removed in 2017 without any genuine reason and staged a demonstration claiming that an old Hanuman temple was located under a peepal tree on the IIT Indore campus. BJP’s Shivrajsingh Chauhan was chief minister of the state at the time.

The villagers of Simrol too seem to have been angered by this and support the Bajrang Dal. Villagers claim that the temple was over 200 years old and that the administration should have consulted the panchayat before breaking down the shrine.

Saying that what the locals claim to be a temple was just another village shrine, a student, on the condition of anonymity, told the paper, "It was a shrine with a deity under a tree that the villagers had been worshipping for as long as they can remember. The major complaint they have is that the administration did not bother to even inform the local panchayat or the villagers before they demolished their place of worship.”

Activists furnished photographic evidence of the shrine, demanding that a First Information Report (FIR) be filed against those who broke down the temple and hurt the sentiments of the Hindus saying that people used to go to the temple for worship when the campus had not come up.

“The temple should be re-established and FIR should be registered who got the shrine removed,” Bajrang Dal city general secretary Devendra Anjana demanded.

Some student bodies also stand with the locals in their allegations. Speaking to EdexLive, National representative and Coordinator of Research Scholars of India, Nikhil Gupta, who had spearheaded the movement for higher stipends for researchers last year, said that he would want to visit the campus and help the locals be heard. "Considering the allegations of the villagers, I believe that no institution especially one that is run by the Government of India should offend the religious feelings or considerations of the society. The details surfaced so far strongly suggest that the locals were not even consulted before doing this. The institution should make amends and construct a grand temple to mend relations with the locals," said Nikhil.

Bajrang Dal activists also claimed that they had previously filed complaints with the district administration and the CSP but no action had been taken in the matter.

The religion spin

Claiming that the students had given them this information, villagers claimed that the contractors who built the gym that now stands at the site of the shrine, were Muslims. Though this may have nothing to do with the issue, the simple admission that the shrine was built by Muslims, is bound to give this matter a religious spin. Given how Muslims have been targeted and singled out for every matter by right-wing fanatics, it is possible that this simple administrative issue could also take a religious twist.

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