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Hindus in West Bengal hamlet prohibited from celebrating Durga Puja

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Nalhati, West Bengal: In what appears to be a clear case of curtailment of religious freedom, Hindu members of Nalhati village of Birbhum district have been prevented from celebrating Durga Puja for the past four years.

The Hindus have been prohibited by the village administration from observing the festival since 2012 after facing pressure from the Muslim community of the hamlet, according to a report published in NewsX.

The administration had earlier denied permission for the slaughter of cows to the members of the Muslim community. Following this, the Muslim community had pressurized the administration to deny permission and hence prevent Hindus from observing Durga Puja.

The administration unofficially admitted that giving permission to Durga Puja may lead to communal clashes.

So far the issue has been met with stoic silence by local and state-level political leaders. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is otherwise vocal about her opposition to growing intolerance in the society, is yet to speak out on the issue.

The mainstream media, which are otherwise very active in covering issues related to communalism and religious intolerance, have turned a blind eye. Except a few news channels and dailies like Navbharat Times, NewsX and Zee News, none of the news channels, papers, or online portals have covered the issue.

This adds to the growing list of instances wherein media bias and selective coverage stands exposed. The Hindu community which is in the majority in West Bengal continuous to face religious discrimination and intolerance across the state, but finds no one who is willing to address their grievances.

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Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar. Wikimedia

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“To the Minister of School Education, West Bengal. There is a glaring error with the image used in one of the school text books to depict Milkha Singhji. Could you please request the publisher to recall and replace this book? Sincerely,” Farhan tweeted on Sunday.

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