LUCKNOW: Members of Hindu outfits and civic body officials sprinkled 'Ganga Jal', water from river Ganga on a temple in Uttar Pradesh's Siddharthnagar in an effort to 'purify' it after the visit by a Muslim MLA of the Samajwadi Party.
SP MLA from Domariaganj, Saiyada Khatoon, claimed that she was invited by the administration of Samya Mata temple in Balwa village in her constituency to attend ‘Maha Chandi Yagya’ on Sunday. After she left, some people not in favour of her visit purified it with 'Ganga Jal' amid the chanting of mantras.
However, the MLA asserted that she won’t stop going to temples because of controversies created by “misguided” people.
“Some people are unnecessarily creating controversy regarding my visit to get personal attention,” said the SP MLA while interacting with media persons. As per the police sources, the chairman of the local panchayat and members of some other Hindu organisations visited the temple on Monday, sprinkled Gangajal, recited the Hanuman Chalisa, and shouted slogans against Khatoon. According to Barhni Chafa Nagar Panchayat chairman Sharmaraj Verma, Samya Mata Mandir is a centre of faith for devotees. People throng the temple.
“The local MLA is a non-vegetarian and her visit affected the sanctity of the place,” said the chairman who led the members of different Hindu Organisations, including Santosh Paswan, Mithlesh Pandey, Vijai Madhesia and Promod Gautam in ‘purifying’ the temple premises by Ganagjal.
However, taking note of the incident, Domariaganj circle officer Sujit Kumar Rai said a police team was patrolling the area to avert any untoward incident in the light of he given incident. He added that the local police would take suitable action against the culprits if a complaint was filed in that connection.
The cop said that local villagers had constituted an organising committee for the religious event. The S MLA was invited by Shrikant Shukla, secretary of organising committee and Pujari Prasad, head priest of the temple. Siddharthnagar SP Abhishek Kumar Agarwal said that they were inquiring into the incident and keeping a close eye on the development. Khatoon said some elements were misleading a group of people.
“I respect all religions. Moreover, I am a public representative. Be it a temple or a mosque, I will surely go there if I am invited,” she said. Renovation of various temples was funded by her MLA local area development fund, she added.
Dharamraj Verma, chief of Badhani Chafa's Nagar Panchayat where the temple is located, led the purification. The lawmaker was invited by some "unrighteous" people, he said.
"Because Sayeda Khatoon is a Muslim and eats cow meat, her visit to this holy place had made it impure," he said. "After this purification, this place has now become completely pure and suitable for worship."
The pujari of the temple, Sri Krishna Dutt Shukla, said the MLA was invited for the 'mahayagya' and she had come there in the evening. According to Shukla, the MLA remained there for some time and talked about amity in society before leaving.
"The next morning Verma and his team came here and questioned me why she had been called and said the temple had become impure because of her presence. They then sprinkled 'Ganga Jal' and carried out the cleaning exercise," Shukla said.
A similar incident happened in Bihar last year after a Muslim minister entered the Vishnupad temple along with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, prompting the temple staff to “purify” the premises.
(With inputs from PTI)