Chhedi Paswan rarely takes the dusty tracks of Beur village unlike Meira Kumar and K.P. Ramaiah and scores of the faithful.
Yet, the BJP candidate from Sasaram, 75km from the village, hopes to win the Lok Sabha election even without the blessings at Hazrat Gulam Sabir Shah Rahmatullah Alay mazar (mausoleum).
The mazar in Kaimur’s most populated Muslim village with 15,000 is the top destination for people of all ages, caste and religion.
When The Telegraph visited the mazar, it found that around 12 people were handcuffed and legs chained — not because they have committed any crime or done any sin. It is a method to get them rid of the sufferings and diseases.
Some of them are handcuffed and chained for more than four years, their family take care of them and looks after every requirement.
“Sufferings of the people end after a visit to this mazar. People come here to get rid of their problems — financial, social, family disputes and disease,” said Parvez Baba, the mazar caretaker.
About the reason behind people being kept handcuffed and chained, Parvez added: “Not everyone is handcuffed and chained. It only applies to those who lose their mental balance and become hyper. To keep them quiet and peaceful, we take this precaution that too only after the consent of their family members.”
People visit the mazar from far-off places, including Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. They stay on the premises till their sufferings end. At the time of Urs, the mazar, set up 47 years ago, receive crowds in lakhs.
Not only the Muslims but the Hindus also visit the mazar in large numbers. Rabindra Mahto has brought his son-in-law Mukesh Mahto to the mazar, who is now handcuffed and chained.
“For the past some years, I have been visiting several doctors to get my son-in-law well who was suffering from amnesia. However, it did not work so I brought him h ere on the suggestion of my friend who has also brought his relative five years back. It’s been two years now and he is improving. I do not mind he is handcuffed and chained, after all he will be cured,” says Rabindra Mahto, a resident of Basti village in Uttar Pradesh.
People stay here for a minimum 40 days and they do not need to pay any fee for that. During elections, the place becomes a favourite destination for politicians. Recently, Meira, the Congress candidate, and Ramaiah of the JD(U) visited the mazar to seek blessings.
The villagers also believe that without the blessings of Hazrat Gulam Sabir Shah Rahmatullah Alay, no candidate can win the election.
“I do not think without his blessings, anyone can win,” said villager Kashif Ansari.
But will exception prove this rule? “There are 4,500 villages in the Sasaram parliamentary constituency and it is not possible for me to visit each and every village so I have asked my party workers to visit those villages where I am unable to visit due to time constraint,” said Chhedi, adding that he could not visit the mazar
Sasaram votes on April 10