The incident took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district, at a temple on Monday, November 27, when the temple was visited by Samajwadi Party’s Muslim MLA, Saiyada Khatoon. Following her visit, Gangajal was sprinkled on the Samya Mata temple in Balwa village. This action was reportedly taken by members of Hindu groups.
Saiyada Khatoon is an MLA from Domariaganj. According to reports, she has stated that she had been invited by the villagers of her constituency to participate in the programme on “Maha Chandi Yagya” on Sunday, and after a Ram Katha ceremony, had decided to visit the temple.
However, it became a contentious issue the next day of even when the chairman of the local panchayat, Dharmaraj Verma, along with other members of various Hindu organisations, performed purification rituals which included sprinkling Gangajal, reciting the Hanuman Chalisa in the temple.
Badhani Chafa’s Nagar Panchayat Chairperson Verma has defended these actions by asserting that the sanctity of the Samya Mata temple had been “compromised” by Khatoon’s visit. He alleged, “Samya Mata Mandir is a centre of faith for devotees. People throng the temple with dedication that was disrespected by the local MLA’s visit. She is non-vegetarian, and her visit affected the sanctity of the place.”
Khatoon has stated, that Verma is associated with the BJP and the Hindu Yuva Vahini.
Domariaganj Circle Officer Sujit Kumar Rai has informed the media that a police team was patrolling the area to prevent any potential flare ups. However, as of now, no formal complaint has been lodged regarding the incident, Rai has affirmed, “We will take appropriate action if a complaint is filed in this regard.”
Rai also confirmed that Khatoon had been invited at the behest of the local villagers. An organising committee for the Ram Katha had been formed by local villagers. The pujari of the temple, Sri Krishna Dutt Shukla has asserted that the SP MLA was invited for the event, she had spoken a few words of about peace and harmony and then left. Shukla and a pujari named Prasad were part of a committee which had given the invitation to the Samajwadi Party MLA.
The superintendent of Police for Siddharthnagar, Abhishek Kumar Agarwal, stated, “We are inquiring into the incident and keeping a close eye on the development.”
Meanwhile, Saiyada Khatoon has stated that she will not refrain from visiting religious sites of all religion due to these acts.