The village of Jalalpur within Kaliachak Block I in the district of Malda was prominent in the vicinity for the Rath Yatra or one of the principal festivals of millions and millions of Hindus scattered across the globe. Apart from pulling chariots comprising Holy Deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama and Subhadra, the village used to revel a week long fair or “Jalalpur Rahter Mela”, attended by both Hindus and Muslims in large numbers. On each year, no less than two hundreds of shops along with makeshift stalls used to take part in the trade event. But the fair is no more and has become a part of history only. The fair ended three years ago thanks to relentless efforts of a section of local Muslims desirous to control the entire area. To garner more profits, this very section of Islamists introduced newer forms of entertainments like wine shops, temporary gambling dens along with other immoral business ventures in the exhibition. These new enterprises marred the hallowed atmosphere in the long run and despite strong protests from local Hindus, Islamists, abetted by silence of local administration, went on with their goals. Nevertheless protests continued. Finding no other option to grab the authority, Hindus were compelled by Islamists to stop the grand fare once and for all.
Rath Yatra is going on still but fails to attract Hindus from other areas these days. The sole reason behind this is the terror of Islamists. Hindus are scared to join the program while Hindu women remain vulnerable to molestations and other kinds of common dastardly attacks or special anti-Hindu attributes of Islamists. None knows when this sanctified Rath Yatra in the Kaliachak Block I, inhabited by Hindus as a feeble and minority community, will meet its final end. Hindus grieve over the absence of a strong administration. They believe that any such presence could have stopped Islamists from going on with their nasty designs to maim Hindu feelings.
Again, to tell the truth, this is no new development in Kaliachak, known to Hindus as the newest incarnation of a sovereign Islamic territory or mini-Pakistan. Such horrific activities have been going on for decades while political parties like CPIM or Congress or Trinamool Congress look the other way to retain a loyal, Muslim vote bank. On April 8, 2013, at night, a gang of local Islamists enclosed the mango orchard (on a land of 30 cottahs) of Rajkumar Saha, a Hindu individual living in village of Silampur under Kaliachak police station’s jurisdiction for decades, and seized it. The entire attack was led by Salil Sheikh, an infamous Islamist in the locality. The goons have built a thatched hut within the garden while the entire property is being guarded by a group of 25 radical Muslims. More than a year has passed but the local police are yet to detain the culprits. The Hindu family is having severe economic plight at the moment.
This is just a mere incident while hundreds of others go unreported as Hindus, being helpless and devoid of any leadership, can’t take on highly organized syndicates of Islamists. They prefer to take flight to other areas having more Hindu families.