GUWAHATI: The recent attack on Batadroba Police Station by people belonging to a specific community has sent shockwaves among the xatras in the state. After the attack, ASM (Asom Sattra Mahasabha) general secretary Kusum Kumar Mahanta raised the demand for security for the vulnerable xatras.
Talking to The Sentinel, Mahanta said, "The ongoing onslaughts on xatras from the Muslims of erstwhile East Bengal origin are becoming more and more intense every passing day. Besides encroaching upon xatra land, they continue to pose a threat to many xatras located in various places in the state. Such xatras are vulnerable."
Citing a few examples, Mahanta said, "Several incidents occurred in the state. Besides breaking the mentor's seat (Guru Ason), these people carry out some activities desecrating naamghars and xatras. The recent attack on the Batadroba Police Station is an attack on the Borduwa Than, the birthplace of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev. After the attack on the police station, many devotees do not feel safe visiting Than. The rush of devotees to the Than is almost nil now."
On the threat perception, Mahanta said, "The situation is no different in other xatras surrounded by Muslims of erstwhile East Bengal origin. The responsibility of protecting the xatras of the state lies with the State Government under Clause VI of the Assam Accord. The government should set up either police stations or police outposts near xatras located in vulnerable areas to provide them security. The Chief Minister himself should look into the matter."
The ASM general secretary further said, "The government should not forget that Muslims of East Bengal origin killed the xatradhikar and four bhakats of Adi Alengi Satra and the xatradhikar of Bor Alengi Xatra of the Lakhimpur district in 1997. The victims' kin has not got justice in both the cases."