The religious fundamentalists, who failed to create a country based on religion in 1971, are now out to achieve their goals by creating communal unrest. These Pakistan inspired Islamic fundamentalists are instigating religious sentiment of common Bangladeshi people by spreading false propaganda via social media. The root causes behind all the attacks were to thwart dissent, freedom and secularism … A special report by Asian Lite News
This year’s onset of Durga Puja witnessed large-scale violence against the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh by radical Islamists. Hindus are being persecuted all over Bangladesh and Hindu temples are being destroyed by frenzied mobs of radical Islamists.
Puja mandapas were attacked all over Bangladesh during this Durga Puja. Radical Islamic zealots ran amok, vandalising Hindu idols, temples and shops in Chandpur, Chattogram, Munshiganj, Noakhali, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Kishoreganj, Kurigram, Rangpur and other districts. The violence and attacks on the Hindu community took place following false reports of “demeaning the Holy Quran”, at a time when the community was in the midst of celebrating Durga Puja.
One temple after another is being set on fire. Massive disturbances took place in Chaumuhani College Road in Noakhali. Trishul, Mangala, Navadurga, Vijaya Pandel & Kotbari temples were set on fire. Homes of Hindus are being attacked,vandalised and burned. SriSri Lakshmi Narayan Jiu Tagore in Hajiganj-Chandpur district, puja mandapa of JM Sen Hall in Chittagong district, Hari temple of Lama in Bandarban district, Durga Puja mandapa on the banks of Nanua Dighi in Kumilla district and many other Hindu places of worship were attacked by violent Jihadi mobs. Manik Saha, publicity secretary of Chandpur district branch of Bangladesh National Hindu Youth Grand Alliance, was killed while guarding the puja mandapa.
An insane jihadi group gang-raped a Hindu mother, daughter and mother’s sister’s daughter in Hajiganj, Chandpur district of Bangladesh on October 13 during Durga Puja. The 10-year-old Hindu girl who was gang-raped died the next morning and her mother’s condition is very critical. On the afternoon of October 15, Jatan Saha was beaten to death when Hindu temples in Noakhali’s Begumganj upazila were attacked.
On the night of 17 October, a jihadi group vandalized the Shitla idol of Shitala temple in Jotdaibaki village of Lalpur union of Lalpur police station in Natore district of Bangladesh. Thousands of local jihadi groups set fire to and looted over 60 Hindu houses and temples in two villages, including Bot Bazar Majhipara in Ramnathpur union of Pirganj upazila in Rangpur district of Bangladesh, over the night of October 17-18, spreading rumours of insult to Islam.
After Rangpur, on 19 October the jihadis set fire to the house of a poor hindu man named Parimal at Darar Hat in Debiduba Union of Debiganj Upazila in Panchagarh District of Bangladesh. These are just a few incidents. Throughout Bangladesh radical Islamists have created an environment of fear for Hindu minority community.
Transparency International Bangladesh in a statement slammed the failure of law enforcers in fending off attackers at various parts of the country. “We saw that hundreds of cases were filed across the country, accusing thousands… but the real perpetrators are not being identified, and officials are not rising above the clichéd political blame games. The real perpetrators remain behind the scene, while communal violence continues.” Several groups are trying to destroy the existing communal harmony in Bangladesh by spreading propaganda and carrying out provocative campaigns.
It is known that in all the incidents of violent attacks, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami named Islami Chhatra Shibir is the main perpetrators. Their ranks are swelled by the members of the Hefazat-e-Islam, the Qawmi madrasa-based organisation which has unleashed havoc in many areas of Bangladesh with their religious intolerance.
In some cases the local activists of the Awami League and its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League tried to resist the attackers. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a Bangladeshi human rights organization that documents attacks on minority communities, estimates over 3,600 attacks targeting Hindus have taken place in Bangladesh since 2013 Minister of Home Affairs of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Khan has termed the attacks on Durga Puja pavilions as ‘pre-planned’ and said these attacks were aimed at destroying the communal harmony in Bangladesh.
“It appears to us that it was a motivated act instigated by a vested group”, he added. The perpetrators of these attacks are the ideological ancestors of the defeated forces in the Liberation War, the morally bankrupt country Pakistan.
“The religious fundamentalists, who failed to create a country based on religion in 1971, are now out to achieve their goals by creating communal unrest. These Pakistan inspired Islamic fundamentalists are instigating religious sentiment of common Bangladeshi people by spreading false propaganda via social media. The root causes behind all the attacks were to thwart dissent, freedom and secularism. This recent wave of violence confirms the danger indigenous Hindus continue to face in Bangladesh. Fifty years after nearly 2.8 million of them were killed and another 10 million of them turned destitute and made to become refugees by the Pakistan Army in 1971, during the independence struggle of Bangladesh, Hindus continue to be targeted for their faith.”
In a tweet, Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council (BHUC) informed, “At present Hindus are being attacked in Pirganj of Rangpur. Attacks on Hindus continue across the country. If this continues, it will be difficult for Hindus to survive in Bangladesh.” Utsav Chakrabarti,
Executive Director of HinduPACT, a US-based Hindu advocacy group says, “It is especially horrifying to see the last remaining Hindus in Noakhali being attacked in this way, 75 years after Islamists demanding the creation of Pakistan, killed 12,000 Hindus and forcibly converted 50,000 to Islam in October 1946.”
According to Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad, the attacks on religious minorities, their temples, houses and businesses are parts of a blueprint to force them to leave the country.
Mia Seppo, the UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh, has also called upon the Bangladeshi government to ensure the protection of minorities and an impartial probe into the incidents.
Religious unrest poses a challenge to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League, which has always portrayed itself as secular and minority-friendly, especially since becoming Bangladesh’s ruling party in 2009.
The ratio of Hindu people in Bangladesh has decreased to 8.5 percent from 29.7 percent of the total population in the country. Even after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s assurance and the large deployment of security personnel, reports of attacks have continued coming in. Throughout Bangladesh the situation remains tense.