A vandalised room at RK Mission Saradapith
Belur Math will soon have a police outpost.
Saturday night’s violence and vandalism at Ramakrishna Mission Saradapith, off the Math, by a gang of outsiders and a prod from the chief minister to boost security on the premises have prompted the Howrah commissionerate to decide on setting up an outpost at the Mission headquarters.
Insiders said the authorities had been working on the proposal for an outpost at Belur for some time. “Saturday night’s incident and a nudge from the chief minister’s office have fast-tracked the process,” said an officer.
Around 10pm on Saturday, a 50-strong mob protesting the death of a student at RK Mission Shilpamandira (a polytechnic) thrashed a Belur Math caretaker, scaled the wall of the monks’ residence and smashed windowpanes and furniture.
Thirteen youths were arrested in connection with the incident, unprecedented in the Math’s history.
On Monday, senior police officers visited the Math and discussed with monks where to set up the outpost. A source said the outpost would come up on the main Math campus, near the Ramakrishna temple. “The exact spot has not yet been decided,” the source said.
“A large number of devotees visit the institution every day. The turnout shoots up manifold on special occasions, like Durga puja. The security of the place cannot be ignored,” said a senior monk. “We need a police outpost as security can’t be handled by monks.”
“We are thinking of a permanent set-up for police. Once the spot is identified, work for setting up the outpost will begin,” said a senior officer of the commissionerate. “Cops in the outpost will be equipped to tackle any situation.”
The news of the attack left Mamata Banerjee worried. “She wondered why Belur Math was repeatedly becoming the target, referring to the recent theft from the Math museum. She asked officers concerned to immediately take steps to boost Belur Math’s security,” said a source in the chief minister’s office.
In July, a tooth and strands of hair of Sarada Devi and a rudraksh garland she used went missing from the museum. The CID is probing the theft with support from the Howrah police.
The father of Sarthak Majumder, the Shilpamandira student who was found dead, has lodged a complaint with Bally police station, saying his son had been killed. There were several injury marks on the body, Gautam Majumder mentioned in the complaint. The police said they would talk to Sarthak’s friends.