A Maoists’ group has reportedly locked up a Jain temple atop Parasnath hill, about 75 kilometres from Giridih in Jharkhand, and warned the trustees of dire consequences if they continued hill cutting to expand the temple complex. The group has posted red flags and banners in the complex.
The Parasnath hill is the place where 20 out of 24 tirthankars of Jains attained enlightenment and is considered very sacred by the community.
Giridih superintendent of police Kranti Kumar Gadidesi, said, “Yes, I am well aware about the situation and the authorities concerned have already been directed to act in accordance with the situation”.
“The Maoists have sealed the ‘Chaprakund temple’, basically used by the Digambar sect of the Jain pilgrims as a transit point at the hill top. They have also put up red banners and posters warning the trustees to stop their anti -people or the anti -natural activities on the hill top. The Maoists have also mentioned the name of one of the Jain trustees and have written few poll boycott slogans”, a shrine board staff said on condition of anonymity.
Police and forest officials said that a legal battle was going in the Supreme Court between the forest department and the Jain shrine board regarding the Chaprakund temple, which is situated about 8 km from the foothills.
Since the area falls in the jurisdiction of the forest department, the government is making efforts to acquire the land from the possession of the Jains.