Tension at Sankisa Buddhist pilgrimage site in UP after saffron flag was removed from temple

Tension reigned in the Sankisa Buddhist pilgrimage area on Wednesday when some people tore a saffron flag from a temple and hoisted the Buddhist “panchsheel flag”, triggering a violent protest.

The incident happened during “Dhamma Yatra” by Buddhist pilgrims.

Some people climbed the Bisari Devi temple, located on the disputed mound in the Sankisa Buddhist pilgrimage area, and lowered the saffron flag and unfurled the Panchsheel flag in its place, police said.

Buddhist followers claim the disputed place as a Buddhist stupa with great religious significance to them, while followers of Sanatan Dharm claim that it is an ancient temple of Mother Bisari Devi, where an idol of Lord Hanuman is also installed. The litigation has been in court for approximately 40 years.

A group of Hindu activists protested after the flag incident and there were stone throwing between the two sides in which some people were slightly injured. Later, Hindu activists blocked the main road, police said.

District Magistrate Manvendra Singh and Police Superintendent Ashok Kumar Meena quickly reached the location with the police and tried to calm the agitated protesters.

The road was cleared after some time and the situation was brought under control, they said.

On the instructions of the district magistrate, the SDM (Sadar) Anil Kumar gave a written assurance that any damage to the Bisari Devi temple will be repaired.

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