By Zamser Ali
Guwahati: Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘anti-Muslim’ campaign was sullied in Assam after resident Prabati Das, the now converted, and estranged wife of Ganesh temple priest Karna Das confirmed that she had joined Islam out of her own free volition.
Das has been the centerpiece of BJP’s election campaigns for the past three years, with the party claiming that the resident of Dhalpur had been kidnapped, raped and forcefully converted by Muslims.
Parbati’s story came to light on September 30 during a survey and collection of documents of those forcibly evicted Muslims from Dhalpur under Sipajhar police station of Darrang district.
When Parbati arrived to register herself among those left homeless during the eviction drive, the youth collecting data were shocked as no other community had been evicted apart from Muslims.
A puzzled volunteer asked Parbati about her documents and questioned if she had actually been evicted. Prabati answered in affirmative while her son Ganesh Das cleared any lingering doubts by stating, “We are evicted because we are now Muslim,”.
The discovery was made by Faruk Ahmed, who was leading the data compilation work. He suspected that Parbati’s story may be the one the BJP has been manipulating all along to their own benefit.
On September 26, after the eviction drives, left-Democratic front leaders under the leadership of Rajya Sabha MP and veteran journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan visited the eviction area, they enquired about the whereabouts of the alleged kidnapping and rape of the wife of a Hindu priest but received no leads since the story was fictitious.
Parbati informed Siasat.com that she had left her husband, who was a priest at the Dhalpur Ganesh Temple because he was an alcoholic and a ganja addict. He tortured her and their son regularly, which she could not bear to deal with. Hence, she left her husband to live with the Muslim villagers after her son turned 18. They have still not been able to recover from the trauma of their past, she narrated, teary-eyed.
When asked whether she was forcefully converted, Parbati strongly denied it and stated that “Whatever I did, I did it on my own. No one has forced me ever. I did it according to my will.”