Barsana, 2011.01.23 (AU)à¥¤ Criminal elements involved in illegal quarrying near Bairu village rained stones down on sants and supporters from Barsana’s Maan Mandir. Five were injured. Damage was minimized by the intervention of local villagers.
Ramjilal, a monk in the Maan Mandir, was returning to Barsana from Alwar on Saturday evening in his Bolero SUV. When the criminal elements saw the insignia of Maan Mandir on the vehicle, they phoned a supporter with a tractor further along the highway and told him to block the sadhu’s vehicle’s path. The tractor driver did so by ramming the SUV.
In the meantime, the criminal elements, who are known as the “khanan (quarrying) Mafia,” arrived on the spot and began to wreck the ashram car by throwing stones at it. Not only was the SUV damaged, but passengers Birendra Baba, Bhura, Sanjay and Bir Das, were injured by the attack.
Seeing the disturbance, people from the area came and managed to protect the saints, who managed to return safely to Barsana.
Ramesh Baba and his followers have been engaged in a sustained protest against the activities of these criminals, who despite repeated orders to cease and desist manage to go on with the illegal quarrying. This is not the first, nor likely the last time that they will resort to violence to intimidate the activist babas. Let us hope that strong action is taken against them.