For Shiva’s Sake

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Bet Mamata Banerjee doesn’t know this: there’s a hamlet on a narrow-gauge link between Katwa and Ahmedpur in Bengal’s Birbhum district where trains stop for only one week in a year. The hamlet, Jubutia, houses a famous ‘Jopeswar’ temple dedicated to Lord Shiva where a popular week-long fair is held during Shivratri every year. All trains plying on the route halt for a few minutes to let devotees embark or disembark at this hamlet during the fair. Eastern Railways authorities say the halt is not illegal, but a scheduled one valid for only seven days a year. Jubutia is, incidentally, near Pranab Mukherjee’s ancestral village that he visits during Durga Puja every year.