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21-year-old Christian Man Assaulted and Burned for Having Friendship with Muslim Woman

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Sheikhupura, April 18, 2017: A 21-year-old Christian man was reportedly assaulted and burnt with hot iron rods, allegedly by the family of a Muslim woman in Sheikhupura district, for having “friendship” with her.

The victim had received severe burn wounds and after failing to get proper medical care in Sheikhupura, he was shifted to Mayo Hospital, Lahore, on Sunday for further medical treatment.

The incident happened earlier this month and a police case has also been lodged against the father and brothers of the woman, who were reportedly against the friendship between the two and allegedly tortured Ansar Masih, mentioned PTI.

According to the First Information Report (FIR) undersigned by Masih’s sister in Sheikhupura’s Saddar police station, Masih first established contact with the woman two years ago and their friendship grew with time and they often spoke on phone and Masih would also visit the woman neighbourhood to meet her.  When the woman’s family learned of the friendship, her father, Manzoor, and her brothers called Masih’s father asking him to tell his son to stay away from her, warning them of dire consequences if their instructions were not followed.

On April 1, Ansar’s mother sent him to run an errand in the woman’s neighborhood where Ansar was allegedly kidnapped by the accused and his two sons, the report stated, adding the three unclothed him, beat him and burned him using hot iron rods and then the accused had brought Ansar to his house and told his family that he had been in a traffic accident.

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Ansar’s family had then rushed him to Sheikhupura’s District Headquarters Hospital where, after gaining consciousness, he narrated the incident.

Subsequently, on April 5, his sister lodged the FIR following which the police took the accused into custody.

The victim’s father has alleged that the family was under pressure by the accused as well as the area police to reconcile and take back the case.

Ansar’s condition is reportedly stable now. However, his medical treatment is underway.

– Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC