Probe Finds ‘No Foul Play’ In Burning of 200 Yr Old Rangu Devta Temple In Kishtwar


Asif Iqbal Naik


Debris of Rangu Nag Temple Kishtwar gutted in mysterious blaze on Oct 31, 2016 late evening.

Debris of Rangu Nag Temple Kishtwar gutted in mysterious blaze on Oct 31, 2016 late evening.

In a significant development in mysterious fire incident of an ancient temple in Tagood area of Kishtwar district, the magisterial probe carried out by the Tehsildar Kishtwar found “no foul play” behind the burning of 200 year old Rangu Devta (Nag temple).

As per the details available with Kashmir Life, the ancient Rangu Devta temple located some 45 KM from Kishtwar was gutted in a tragic fire incident on Oct 31st last at around 8:15 PM and accordingly a team of police headed by Dy SP operation Kishtwar immediately rushed to the spot for investigation of the case which according to sources found nothing that could hint towards any hand of foul play after questioning the local people who informed the police that they did not suspect the hand of any outsider behind the temple fire incident and accordingly the administration was brief about the findings by the police.

Acting on the leads given by the police team and to further probe the matter, Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Ghulam Nabi Balwan ordered Tehsildar Kishtwar Irshad Ahmed Butt to conduct the magisterial probe into the tragic fire incident.

Following the directions of DC Kishtwar, Tehsildar Kishtwar who is also a first class magistrate along with Patwar halqa concerned, Abid Rashid Mughal, visited the spot and started its inquiry in open public darbar.

During the course of the magisterial probe, the locals informed the committee that the temple was about 200-year-old and is surrounded from all sides by Hindu population.

They further informed that as per ancient rituals, the people visited the temple thrice a week which include Monday when the fire incident took place.

The villagers informed that there were two routes that lead to the village and added that the villagers found no person from outside visiting the village and further said that some locals might have visited the temple for offering Puja which according to the locals “is the cause of the fire”.

“We are sure there was no hand of any miscreant behind the burning of this historic temple or we can’t blame any of our Muslim brothers. Some people had visited the temple for offering Puja and in between someone inadvertently had burnt cigarette and due to dry conditions it lead to the fire incident,” the villagers told the magistrate and urged him to close the investigation by declaring it as “natural incident”.

The villagers also urged upon the politicians not to play politics over the matter.

The locals informed that the temple is situated in the middle of the Tagood area surrounded with over 400 homes on all four sides. The temple was situated in Bungam Tagood and is about 400 to 500 meters away from the village having 100% Hindu population.

On the basis of the statements given by the locals, first class Magistrate declared the case as closed by calling it as a ‘naturally occurred’ fire incident.

The sources said that the investigation of the case has also been shared with the Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar by the magistrate.

It is pertinent to mention that in an unfortunate fire incident, a 200-year-old ancient temple of Rangu Devta (Nag temple) gutted Monday (31st Oct) evening in mysterious fire incident in Tagood village of Kishtwar district falling under the jurisdiction of Police Station Chatroo.

The people noticed the fire coming out of the temple around 8:15 PM and accordingly raised alarm, but till villagers reached the spot, the temple was completely gutted.

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