Vaishnava monasteries under dire threat in Assam

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Bangladeshis pose a threat to Vaishnavas

Press Trust of India

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 (Guwahati)

Illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam were encroaching land of nearly 900 Vaishnava monasteries across the state threatening the existence and safety of the people there, a former director general of museums claimed.

The 16th century monasteries set up with land provided by the Ahom and Koch kings now had most of their huge estates encroached upon by the migrants resorting to forcible taking away of idols and valuable antiquities, dacoity, molestation and other criminal activities, said former director general of museums Rabin Choudhury.

He added that even some religious heads had been killed by them who has been engaged in the protection work of the monasteries since 1984.

Quoting a report, he said that about 32 monasteries land were under encroachment threatening the past glory of these Vaishnava institutions of culture, literature, music and religion.

In another judgement of the Board of Revenue, Choudhury said that land belonging to a particular religious institution and people belonging to another religion cannot encroach upon people belonging to other religions.

Despite this, he asserted that the government ignoring all these directions was yet to take any measures or issue instructions for the monasteries protection.

Himalaya Convener Shiladitya Dev also asserted that recently some churches had been built on monasteries land in the world’s largest river island and Vaishnavite centre Majuli in Jorhat district.

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