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Muslim youth refurbishes Hanuman temple in Bengal

“I asked the locals, who are all Hindus, whether I could refurbish the temple of Hanumanji. They said there was no bar,” said Mohammad Pappu.

kolkata Updated: Apr 02, 2018 17:40 IST
Koushik Dutta
Koushik Dutta
Hindustan Times
Hanuman,Hanuman Jayanti,Purulia
Mohammad Pappu (left) being blessed by the priest of the temple he repaired with his paltry income. (HT Photo)

A small Muslim trader has refurbished a Hanuman temple at a village in Bengal’s Purulia district even as pockets in the state rocked by communal clashes are struggling to return to normalcy.

The renovated temple was inaugurated on Saturday, the day of Hanuman Jayanti. It is located in ward 21 of Purulia town.

Mohammad Pappu, a trader in the Karpur Bagan area, used money he saved over the years to repair the temple which also got a fresh coat of paint.

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“As kids, we used to play in front of the temple. It was languishing in a state of neglect. I thought it might be a nice idea to repair and paint it,” said Pappu who is in his twenties. The youth makes a living by renting out loudspeakers and electrical items for marriages and musical soirees.

The repair work took three months. On Saturday, Pappu washed the idol with his own hands.

“I asked the locals, who are all Hindus, whether I could refurbish the temple of Hanumanji. They said there was no bar,” said Pappu.

“It’s a nice gesture that he wanted to repair a Hindu temple. He used to tell me that it was a job he always wanted to undertake,” said Pappu’s childhood friend Rajaram Ram.

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“What Pappu has done reflects the tradition and culture of Bengal,” said Shamim Dad Khan, chairman of Purulia municipality.

Ironically, the recent spate of communal flare-up started in Purulia district on March 25 when a 50 years -old man, Sheikh Sajahan, was killed in Arsha, about 30 km from Purulia town.

Sajahan, a resident of Beladi village, was caught in the melee that broke out when a Ram Navami procession was passing by a mosque.

Five policemen were injured when they went to tackle the situation. A total of 16 persons were arrested in this connection.

First Published: Apr 02, 2018 17:40 IST