On Wednesday, members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) reached the Bapu Uparaudh Intermediate College in the Lalganj area of Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh to demand the reopening of a Shiv temple built inside the college premises. The temple was forcibly shut for three days under the direction of a teacher called Mohammed Kasif. The VHP members asked the college authorities to reopen the temple and also demanded strict action against the Islamist teacher.
According to the reports, the temple was shut for three days for the first time in the last 50 years. The temple has been inside the college premises for around 50 years and students, as well as teachers, have been worshipping the temple on regular basis. The students daily apply the Chandan (sandalwood powder) from the temple on their forehead and then attend the classes.
On September 8, the principal of the college, Dr Dharamjeet Singh had to travel out of the Lalganj area for a legal job. In the absence of the principal, the college’s responsibilities were to be looked upon by a teacher named Mohammed Kasif who was appointed as temporary in charge of the college. Kasif that day happened to thrash the students for visiting the Shiv temple and applying the temple Chandan on their forehead. He also called the temple priest identified as Pandit Ramji Mishra and bashed him for worshipping God when he is the college in charge.
“Keep the temple gate closed on the day I am in charge of the college. Open the gate only after 4 pm”, he ordered the temple priest. On the directions of the Islamist teacher, the Shiv temple located inside the college premises was then forcibly shut for the next three days until the principal of the college, Dr Dharamjeet Singh returned to the city.
On September 12, as Dr Singh returned to the college, Pandit Ramji Mishra informed him about the incident and stated that this was the first time in the past 50 years that the Shiv temple was kept shut for three consecutive days. According to the priest, the college temple has never been closed to date. “We clean the temple and worship the deity even during the vacations. But it was closed for the first time after the Islamist teacher threatened the students and me”, the priest stated.
The priest also informed the members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad who reached the college to demand strict action against the Islamist teacher. Reports mention that the Islamist teacher also misbehaved with the VHP workers including Block President Shivsagar Dubey, activist Jagannath Kesharwani and Manoj Keshari. Meanwhile the Principal of the college, Dr. Singh has stated that the matter will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken against the teacher.