President Kovind to visit 600-year-old Ramna Kali Temple destroyed and massacre of 250 Hindus by Pak Army in 1971 war

Telugu Bhaarath
President Kovind to visit 600-year-old Ramna Kali Temple destroyed by Pak Army in 1971 war , massacre of 250 Hindus

President Kovind is expected to inaugurate and review the newly constructed section of the Ramna Kali temple during his three-day visit to Bangladesh.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday left for a three-day state visit to the neighboring Bangladesh, where he is slated to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations as the guest of honor. During this visit, he will hold talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart and visit the Ramna Kali temple in the nation’s capital Dhaka.

It is worth noting that the Ramna Kali Temple located in Dhaka is the same place that was demolished by the Pakistan Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. At that time, the barbaric Pakistani Army had slaughtered hundreds of Hindus inside the temple before eventually razing it down. 

The killings were a part of Operation Searchlight launched by the Pakistani Army to quell the demand for a separate Bangladesh by eliminating its proponents. As a result, thousands of Hindus and Bengali Muslims who resided in East Pakistan and were hankering for a separate motherland were butchered by the Pakistani Army. 

As per reports, bullets were fired inside the 600-year-old temple on March 27, 1971. The Pakistani Army did not even spare the chief abbot of the temple, Shrimath Swami Parmanand Giri, who held the presiding deity of the temple in his hand in order to protect it from being damaged. However, the Pakistani Army killed the priest, along with Hindu men, women, and children who had taken refuge in the temple to stave off the onslaught. It is estimated that more than 250 Hindus were murdered in cold blood before the temple was demolished. 

US lawmaker Gordon Allott made a poignant observation after visiting the site. He said, “There are no Hindus in Ramana Kali anymore. I went to see it. The houses were still burning and the bodies were kept strangely.”

Temple site arrogated by newly-formed govt in Bangladesh under Enemy Property Act
When the Pakistani Army was finally driven out with the help of the Indian Army, the remaining Hindu minority in Bangladesh expected the newly-formed government to work on the reconstruction of the hallowed 6-centuries-old temple. However, to their dismay, the government expropriated the temple land from the Hindu Board under the Enemy Property Act. Later it was handed over to the PWD and then to the Dhaka Club.

In the meanwhile, the Hindus in Bangladesh did not lose hope and continued filing petition after petition seeking their right to pray on the land they considered sacred and holy. Their relentless efforts paid off and the Sheikh Hasina government in 2000 agreed to their demands. Pandals started getting erected at the place and Kali Puja started every year. In 2004, an idol of the Hindu Goddess was installed and two years later, in 2006, the Khaleda Zia government finally permitted the construction of the temple to the Hindus. 

Construction of Ramna Kali temple commenced following the visit of Sushma Swaraj in 2017
However, the Bangladesh government advised that the construction should take place not at the original site but some distance away from it. It allotted 2.5 acres of land for the temple but its construction was mired in bureaucratic red-tape. It was only after the then MEA Sushma Swaraj’s visit in 2017 did the work for temple construction commenced. India had then announced that it would help Bangladesh in the construction of the Ramna Kali Temple.

Now, President Kovind is expected to inaugurate and review the newly constructed section of the same Kali temple. He is on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, from December 15 to 17, during which he is expected to meet various dignitaries. On Wednesday, on the first day of his visit, he is scheduled to pay tribute at the National Martyrs Memorial in Savar, following which he will be meeting Muktijoddhas of the 1971 war.

Inputs: WION - Opindia

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