Agartala Suburb Sees Tension After Hindutva Group 'Builds' Makeshift Temple at Graveyard

A senior official of the Tripura government said administration has "cleared that temple structure." It has also imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in and around the area.

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Agartala: The Nandan Nagar area on the outskirts of Agartala city saw tension after Muslim residents claimed that members of a Hindutva group brought in a bulldozer, cleared parts of a graveyard and installed a makeshift ‘temple’ in the area early on Monday, July 4.

Members of the Muslim community on Tuesday, July 5, blocked a key road in protest.

Members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini allegedly erected a bamboo temple structure with a shivling inside it at the graveyard. Banners and flags of the organisation, along with photos of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath, were installed around the makeshift temple. It is unclear if this organisation is the same as the one founded by Adityanath.

A senior official of the Tripura government told The Wire that administration has “cleared that temple structure.”

The local administration has also imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in and around the area.

 “…[A] report has been received from the Sub-Divisional Police Officer of New Capital Complex regarding the prevalence of high tension and apprehension of breach of the peace at Nandanagar near the Thanda Kalibari area due to communal disharmony. It is apprehended that there is every possibility of further Law & Order,” the order reads.

Speaking with reporters, one of the agitators, Noor Islam, alleged that members of the land mafia who are active in the area have been trying to occupy the graveyard since 2019, under the Hindu Yuva Vahini’s umbrella.

Muslim residents protest near Agartala on July 5. Photo: By arrangement

“We have informed administration about the matter many times, taking it up with even the state minority welfare minister Ratan Lal Nath. Despite assurances from administration to demarcate the graveyard, nothing has been done,” Noor Islam said.

“We demand the administration take steps to maintain peace and tranquility and clear the temple,” Noor added.

Protesting Muslims also claimed that they have been using the graveyard for a long time.

Supporters of the Hindu Yuva Vahini have forwarded the claim that the land “originally belonged to Hindus” and was “exchanged” in 1964.