State of Hindus in Bangladesh: a Report

“This report was sent to IndiaFacts by Narayan Ukil, an activist and researcher working for the cause of persecuted Hindus in Bangladesh.”

Demolition of statue of Hindu deities in Sripur and Kalkini

Some ruffians have demolished a statue of Lord Shiva in a temple in Sripur. After shattering the deity’s statue, these vandals took away the head of the statue at Sardarpara near Sabdalbazar in Sripur Upazilla in Magura district. After being informed the S.P of Magura district Jihadul Kabir along with S.I of Nakol police camp visited the site of the incident. They ensured that they will immediately investigate the incident and take necessary legal actions.

On the other hand in Kalkini of Madaripur a similar incident occurred. Some goons vandalised the statues of Goddess Kali, Goddesh Shitala and some other Hindu deities at the house of Sudhir Biswas in Jhaulata village of Kalkini police station in Madaripur. The O.C of Kalkini police station stated that they will investigate the case and arrest the alleged perpetrator as soon as possible.

Hindu Mother died hearing the news of rape of her daughter

A college going Hindu girl in Lalmanirhat district was raped by a truck driver.  Police arrested the rapist Abdus Sattar and his assistant Nazma Begum. On Saturday the victim was going to her college when Nazma Begum called the victim for some reason to her resident. The convict, Abdus Sattar who was waiting there, attacked the girl and raped her. Hearing her screams the neighbours rushed to the place, but the perpetrators escaped. As the local leaders and the general public demanded justice, the police took swift action.  On the very next day the Sub-Inspector of district police, Mr. Mahbub Hasan arrested the rapist and his associate. The Superintend of Police Habibur Rahman assured complete security for the victim’s family.

 

But sadly soon after hearing the news, the mother of the victim had a stroke and died. The father of the victim lives in Chittagong due to his work. Now the victim, along with her younger brother are afraid of possible backlashes.

While investigating, the Officer-in-Charge Md. Jamir Uddin confirmed Bangladesh Minority Watch that the incidents are true and the perpetrators have been arrested. He said ‘ Medical test for the rape case has been performed and the victim herself filed a ‘rape case’ against this incident.’ The case no. is 03, dated 03-02-2013 under section 7/30 of Women and Children Repression Act, 2003.

 

Mayor Lokman accused for grabbing land of minority Hindus

Lokman Hossain a mayor in Barisal disctrict Mayor, who is also the general secretary of Upazilla committee of the Awami League, has been accused of grabbing a plot of land belonging to a Hindu resident. General public are afraid to speak against the mayor who along with his family members are accused of terrorizing their constituents.

About four months ago Lokman grabbed about one and a half acre of lands owned by a local Hindu family. The original owner of the land was Late Rajeshwar Saha who passed the ownership to his sons Nirmal Chandra Saha, Gopal Chandra Saha, Khokan Chandra and Swapan Kumar Saha. They have filed a case in the police station of Bakergonj. The case no. is 90/13.  Dauntless mayor Lokman has started building a super market on the grabbed land. The court has already instructed the alleged perpetrators to halt the construction.

Chairman forced the family of a rape victim to flee to India

A Hindu woman. with her family fled to India after being raped and threatened by the chairman of Kachua Upazilla, Bagerhat. After this incident the inhabitants of Charkathi village (where the incident happened) are in a state of panic.

On 2 January the journalists of Bagerhat district visited the Charkathi village. The villagers told the reporters that they are terrorized by Sheikh Mahfujur Rahman, the chairman of Upazilla Parishad and convener of the Awami League in Kachua Upazilla. This heinous act is said to have taken place on 19 December of 2014.

An aged person of 60 years said that he never thought that a public representative can commit such an atrocious act. The Superintendent of Police at Bagerhat told the journalists that he has ordered the Officer-in-Charge of the Kachua police station to take necessary action. Deputy Commissioner of Bagerhat district, Md. Shukur Alli told that no one is above the law.

Hindus’ houses burned down and Hindu girl kidnapped at Galachipa

On the night of 21 January in 2013 at Chotogabua village of Galachipa police station of Patuakhali district Majibur Rahman Tipu (28) son of Anwar Hossain Howladar accompanied by more than a dozen goons set fire on the house of Anil Baghmar. Before the arson they broke into the house, forcibly took Ritu Moni (17) the daughter of Baghmar along with many valuable properties of the family.

When Baghmar begged for mercy, Anwar Hossain ordered his gang to set fire on the house. The family escaped the burning house but were threatened by Hossain that if they try to take any legal action, they will be killed.

This incident was apparently in response to dispute regarding real estate plot between Anwar Hossain and Bagmar. The septuagenarian Baghmar complained that Anwar Hossain who works as the assistant of an advocate wrongfully occupied a significan portion of his property many years ago. A civil suit regarding this dispute is pending in the Galachipa executive magistrate court.

On 23 January Anil Baghmar lodged a FIR in Galachipa police station accusing Mujibur Rahman Tipu, Rasel, Delwar Hossain, Bachchu Howladar, Jahangir Howladar, Joulas Howladar, Fazlul Haque Howladar, Anwar Hossain Howladar requesting the police to bring back their daughter.

S.M Ziaul Haque, the officer-in-charge of Galachipa police station informed the Bangladesh Minority Watch that he is investigating the case with due care and one of the accused perpetrators Rasel has already been arrested.

On 30 January the High Court ordered the police to rescue the girl within two days and bring her before the court. The courts also ordered the arrest of all the perpetrators and repair the burnt house as well as ensure the safety of the Baghmars.

Source: Dainik Janakantha, Published: 28 January, 2013

Bangladesh Minority Watch Investigation

Bangladesh Minority Watch has investigated a number of cases in the month of March. Short descriptions of the cases are stated here.

Jamaat-Shibir attacks on Hindu community and their temples

Fanatics vandalised idols and torched temples in Comilla, Netrokona and Bhola districts on Tuesday night, creating widespread panic among the local Hindu community.

In Comilla, miscreants vandalised a Hindu temple and set it ablaze at Chapatali village of Mohammadpur East Union under Daudkandi upazila early yesterday, said Abul Faysal, officer-in-charge of Daudkandi Police Station.

Subhash Bhoumik, a resident of Chapatali, said locals kept vigil around the temple till 2:30 am yesterday in the wake of attacks on minority communities across the country, as reported by a correspondent from Comilla.

We found the tin-shed temple in the morning totally gutted,’ he said, adding ‘ Five idols of gods and goddesses were destroyed.’ In Netrokona, around 120 kilometres northeast of Daudkandi, another Hindu temple came under attack in the same way in the early hours yesterday.

Miscreants destroyed five Hindu idols before setting the temple ablaze at Bangla-Dashpara village under Netrokona Sadar upazila, reports our district correspondent. Police and the local Hindu sources said the temple was situated on a field around half-a-kilometre away from the village.

Around 11:00 pm on Tuesday, locals saw a fire coming out of the temple. The villagers immediately rushed to the spot and brought the fire under control.Tapan Chandra Talukder, a resident of the village, said they did not know who attacked the temple and when it was set on fire. Anil Chandra Das, another resident, told this correspondent that none was arrested so far in connection with the incident. Anis Mahmud, deputy commissioner of Netrokona, and Police Super Mohammad Zakir Hossen visited the spot.

In Bhola, miscreants vandalised the idol of Hindu goddess Kali at a Hindu temple at Pakkhiya union of Borhanuddin upazila early yesterday.Bhobotosh, a custodian of the temple, told The Daily Star that they witnessed some four to five men moving suspiciously near the temple on Tuesday night.Chapa Rani, wife of Bhobotosh, found the idol vandalised when she went to the temple to worship in the following morning, reports our Bhola correspondent.

Gouranga Dey, secretary of the district Puja Committee, said, ‘ We have requested the authorities concerned to take necessary action for safety of the minorities.’ On the same night, another group of miscreants set ablaze the cowsheds of 26 houses in Kachiya union of the same upazila. Locals alleged that those were burnt to create panic in the area.Police arrested Abdul Mannan, 50, a local, in connection with his alleged involvement in the incident.

Moshiur Rahaman, deputy assistant director of Rab-8, said they took necessary steps to find out those responsible for vandalism and fire.Meanwhile, Noakhali police arrested Harunur Rashid, general secretary of Rajganj union unit of BNP, yesterday evening in connection with his alleged involvement in looting and vandalising six temples and eight houses of the Hindu community in the union on February 28.Mahbubur Rashid, acting superintendent of police of the district, confirmed the arrest of Harunur, also chairman of the union parishad.

In a press statement, Bangladesh Development Initiative (BDI), a US-based non-partisan advocacy group, yesterday strongly condemned the recent spate of violence especially on minorities and their places of worship across the country reports the Daily Star, 7 March 13.

The BNP has called for a nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal today in protest against what it said attacks by armed ruling party men and police brutality. Jamaat-Shibir activists and BNP supporters last night vandalised and torched at least 40 vehicles across the country.Hartal supporters also attempted to set fire to a train heading for Mymensingh at Gafargaon Rail Station late last night. Hartal supporters attacked police in Santhia Bazar area in Pabna, leaving at least four policemen injured, including two sub-inspectors.In the capital, hartal supporters torched at least four vehicles, including a car, and vandalised 10 buses.

‘The present government is capable of thwarting any bid to start a civil war to change the country’s political system,’ LGRD Minister and General Secretary Awami League Syed Ashraful Islam said Wednesday. He said the government acted with great restraint during the recent mayhem unleashed by the Jamaat-e-Islami to avoid too many casualties. ‘ But taking that as our weakness will be a mistake.’ Islam said there was a concerted effort to discredit the Awami League by instigating the party’s rank and file to hit the streets to fight it out. ‘ They want to provoke us into a civil war and we must avoid that trap … but we are not weak.’

‘ No matter how much they provoke for a civil war, the Awami League will not let anyone break the democratic system and replace it with another 1/11-type set-up,’ the minister said. On Jan 11 2007, a military-backed caretaker administration had taken charge and stayed in office for nearly two years, way beyond its constitutional limits.

The press conference was organised at Awami League president Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi office to clarify the party’s line in the wake of the violence unleashed by the Jamaat-e-Islami after its leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death by the first war crimes tribunal of Bangladesh for crimes, including rape and murder, during the nation’s nine-month-long War of Independence in 1971.

Different socio-cultural organisations formed a human chain at Dhaka Jatiya Press Club  on March 6 to protest what they called ‘heinous attacks’ by Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir on the country’s minority communities Jamaat-Shibir attacks on Hindu community and their temples.

 

A  Situation Note from HRCBM-Dhaka, March 8, 2013

Fanatics destroyed an idol of goddess Kali before setting a Hindu temple on fire at Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat in the early hours yesterday,reports the Daily Star.The 15-year-old Sree Sree Kali Mandir at Bejgram village, 2 kilometres off the Indian border, was burnt down when villagers were asleep, locals said.Hearing the crackling of flames around 4:30 am, villagers rushed to the temple and doused the fire after an hour-long effort, reports our Lalmonirhat correspondent.Incidents of vandalism and arson attacks on temples and houses of theHindus have been rampant since February 28.On that day, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 awarded death penalty to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for his crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War.

statueSince then, miscreants destroyed at least 22 temples, 122 houses and dozens of shops belonging to the Hindus across the country.They also physically assaulted men, women and children of the community and set their houses ablaze after looting.

 

The High Court yesterday ordered the government to arrest culprits, who vandalisedand torched a temple in Munshiganj, in three days to put them on trial.According to a news report of the daily Janakantha published on Tuesday, miscreants vandalised and torched the Monipara Kali Mandir atGoalimandra village of Louhajang upazila during hartal hours on Monday.Following the report, the HC yesterday directed the authorities concerned to repair the temple, restore it to its previous situation and protect people of theminority community in the area.The court also ordered the authorities concerned to submit a report to it within seven days after complying with the directives, reports our Supreme Court correspondent.

 

The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Mahmudul Hoque also issued a suo moto rule asking the authorities concerned to explain in 10 days why appropriate legal action should not be taken against the culprits.

Home secretary, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Munshiganj, upazila nirbahi officer of Louhajang upazila and officer-in-charge of Louhajang Police Station have been made respondents to the rule, Assistant Attorney General Mia Shirajul Islam told The Daily Star.

 

Protect Bangladeshi Hindus, says Amnesty

 

Amnesty International has made an urgent appeal to the Bangladesh government to provide its minority better protection. ‘ The Hindu community in Bangladesh is at extreme risk, in particular at such a tense time in the country. It is shocking that they appear to be targeted simply for their religion. The authorities must ensure that they receive the protection they need,’ said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty’s Researcher. Survivors told Amnesty that the attackers were from the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir. In the report, ‘Bangladesh: Wave of Violent Attacks Against Hindu Minority’, Amnesty gave the country’s war crimes trial as the context to the violence against the minority.

The report said attacks on Hindus and other minorities were often reported from Bangladesh, especially from the far-flung areas. The latest attack took place on March 6 at Daudkandi in Comilla, where a Hindu temple was vandalised and burnt down. It said on Feb 28 a minority village of Rajganj Bazar in Noakhali was set on fire by the Jamaat supporters. According to Amnesty, Bangladesh’s Hindu minority constitutes only eight per cent of the population and has historically been at risk of violence.

They suffered heavily during the 1971 liberation war and again after the 2001 parliamentary elections, when BNP-Jamaat coalition came to power.The rights body urged all political parties to condemn such violence against the Hindu community

Attacks on Hindus protested

Demonstrations were held across the country yesterday protesting the attacks on Hindu communities and temples since the International Crimes Tribunal-1 sentenced Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee to death on February 28.

Jahangirnagar University (JU) students and teachers formed a human chain and brought out a procession on the campus protesting the attacks. Speakers at the human chain, under the banner ‘ Sanatan Biddarthi Sangsad’ , before the JU Shaheed Minar stated that Jamaat-e-Islami and pro-Jamaat student organisation Islami Chhatra Shibir carried out the attacks following the verdict.
They demanded tougher legal steps against the attackers, a ban on Jamaat-Shibir for attacking Hindus and vandalizing and looting their residences and temples, and rehabilitation and security for the affected people and places of worship.

JU Vice-Chancellor Prof Anwar Hossain, JU Teachers’ Association President Ajit Kumar Majumder, Jahangirnagar Sangskritik Jote, JU Chhatra Union and JU Chhatra Front also expressed solidarity with the demands. Bangladesh Janmastami Udjapan Parishad, a platform of the Hindu community, organised a press conference in Chittagong Press Club protesting the attacks. Over 500 households, 300 temples and 300 shops and businesses of minority communities were vandalised, looted and torched since the verdict, claimed the parishad President Debashish Talukder. The parishad also placed the aforementioned demands.
Over 100 Rajshahi University teachers and students under the banner ‘ Biswabiddaloy Kendrio Puja Udjapon Parishad’ formed a human chain before the RU senate bhaban protesting the attacks. The speakers demanded that the government ban Jamaat-Shibir and all religion based political parties.The parishad President Mrinal Kanti, Progressive Teachers’ Society Convener Prof Anand Kumar Saha, Proctor Chowdhury Mohammad Zakaria and Sultan-Ul-Islam of RU Teachers’ Association addressed the programme.

Noakhali correspondent,  bdnews24.com  : Communication Minister Obaidul Quader has urged leaders and activists of the Awami League to stand by the Hindus recently persecuted by Jamaat-e-Islami supporters.Also an Awami League Presidium Member, he was distributing relief goods on Thursday among the Hindus in Noakhali’s Rajganj, one of the sites that bore the brunt of the recent nationwide communal violence by Jamaat after its number two Delwar Hossain Sayedee was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death on Feb 28.

‘ There will be no compromise with those who attacked the religious minorities. They will have to be punished for their acts. The government has zero tolerance on this matter.’

The Noakhali-5 MP urged law enforcers and leaders and activists of Awami League to ensure security for religious minorities with the assistance of local community.Quader gave out cash, clothes and books among students from 67 families in Rajganj from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

Govt urges to resist terrorism, violence  

The government today gave necessary directives to local administration in cooperation with local elites, public representatives and social organization for making united resistance against terrorism and violence, an official release said here tonight.The government is giving special priority for creating awareness and cooperation maintaining peace and stability in the public life, it said.Terrorism and violence have been created by the direct patronization of different parties and groups in different places across the country in the recent times, it said adding that the opposition BNP is trying to create public sufferings by calling hartal.The release said their (BNP’s) ill efforts went in vain as people have no support in their programmes and the countrywide public life was normal.

Unruly Jammat-Shibir hartal activists conducted destructive activities on religious minority groups at a number of places across the country, it observed. The government has given necessary directives to bring the culprit to justice for upholding the tradition of communal harmony in the country. (BSS)

Govt won’t tolerate any more opposition’s destructive activities-PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the opposition leader to shun destructive politics as she issued a strong warning that the government won’t tolerate any more their destructive activities to save war criminals.

‘ We don’t believe in conflict and we also don’t want conflict. But it is our responsibility to protect the life and property of the people. The opposition would attack the law enforcement agencies and slaughter our party men and we would see it sitting in the houses, we are not that much of weak,’ she said.

While addressing a discussion on the historic 7 March, Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League chief, said where the opposition would go if the people, who have become the victims of killing, anarchy and other destructive activities of the opposition, take revenge against them in the same way. The Prime Minister also urged the countrymen to forge a unity like 1971 to resist the new rajakars (collaborators) to save the life and property of the people.

‘You have liberated the country in 1971 by forging a unity under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. And time has come again to face the new collaborators like BNP who has extended their hands to anti- liberation forces to save war criminals,’ she said.

‘Minorities at receiving end in Bangladesh violence’

New Delhi, March 7 — Hundreds of Hindus have been attacked, their shops and businesses burnt and women threatened by the Jamaat-e-Islami in the current spate of violence unleashed by the Islamists in neighbouring Bangladesh, said speakers at a talk here Thursday.

‘Hindus, who number more than one crore in Bangladesh, live in fear and agony… They don’t have anyone to help them,’ said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay at a discussion on ‘Bangla Desh-Shahbagh Rising, Jamaat-e-Islami’s violence and the Indian response’.The protests at Shahbag transcend religion, he said.

‘They are an assertion that we are all Bengali Bangladesh is a friendly country, and Sheikh Hasina (prime minister) is a friend (of India).. But it is horrendous and unacceptable that thousands of Hindu homes are being burnt, looted and police are unable to provide protection,’ said Vijay. ‘The Jamaat is acting on behalf of Pakistan and the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) and against India,’ he alleged.

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra, who accompanied President Pranab Muherjee on his Dhaka trip, said the situation in Bangladesh ‘ is pretty tense’ .

Mitra said that ‘Hindu minorities are at the receiving end in Bangladesh’ in the current clashes.

The violence against minorities is ‘aimed at driving out the Hindus who are concentrated in a few districts where the Jamaat is also concentrated.. The exodus of Hindus to India is continuing,’ said Mitra.The Jamaat is protesting the death sentence handed over to a leader for war crimes committed in 1971.

Mitra said India has ‘certain moral responsibilities as they have to be mindful of their security.. And if another exodus takes place (like during the 1971 war), we will have to provide shelter,’ he said, adding that the Jamaat is like the Taliban in nature. ‘ It has risen from strength to strength and consolidated its position.’ He said the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) would earlier maintain a distance from the Jamaat and had good relations with India. ‘But today, they have linked themselves to the Jamaat.’

BJP leader and former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh said the Shahbag protests ‘were a movement of truth and identity’…Bengali is the dominant culture Bangladesh is wedded to language,’ said Singh.

He said when Mohamed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had gone to then East Pakistan in 1948 and spoke of making Urdu the national language, there ‘ there were loud protests’ .

‘ Language and culture is important to the people of Bangladesh.. and India shares that important linkage with Bangladesh, which needs to be nurtured and preserved,’ he said.The Shahbag protests are a manifestation of the ‘ spirit of the Bengali youth’ and transcend religion,’ he said. (Original article © IANS / Daily News 2013 )

Hindus under attack 6 temples, houses burnt outside Dhaka

Lashing a déjà vu of 1971, Jamaat-Shibir fanatics yesterday wrecked havoc on the Hindu community across the country. They damaged at least six temples, including one of Buddhists, and torched houses and business establishments of Hindu people in Noakhali, Gaibandha, Chittagong, Rangpur, Sylhet, Chapainawabganj and elsewhere in the country.

In Rajganj of Noakhali, Jamaat-Shibir men set ablaze a temple and eight houses of the Hindu community. They also traded bullets with law enforcers in Datterhat under Sadar Police Station and in Rajganj under Begumganj Police Station, leaving two people killed. The deceased were identified as Khokon, 17, a pickup van assistant, and Liton (28), a fish monger, reports our Noakhali correspondent.

The Jamaat-Shibir men also looted a jewellery shop owned by one Biplob Sarkar at Chandraganj Purbo Bazar in Begumganj. Witnesses and police said hours after top Jamaat leaders Delawar Hossain Sayedee had been sentenced to death, the marauding activists equipped with firearms, iron rods and kerosene set fire to Harishiva temple in Rajganj market area at 3:30pm.

‘ They returned an hour later. This time we were left with no choice but to flee the area, as they started torching our houses with kerosene,’ schoolteacher Shankar Chandra, who lost his house in the attack, told The Daily Star over the phone.

Some 50 Hindu people used to live in the houses burnt down, he said, adding that all but a few people had managed to escape to safety. Those left behind had been beaten up and kicked out of their houses by the Jamaat-Shibir attackers.

‘ We ran for our lives leaving everything behind. I was only seven during the Liberation War in 1971, but it didn’t feel this insecure even then,’ said Shankar Chandra.

Assistant Police Superintendent (ASP) of Begumganj circle Mahbub Alam told The Daily Star that informed of the arson, police and firefighters had reached Rajganj around 5:00pm. Police had a hard time containing the violence in the area, as Jamaat-Shibir men had outnumbered the law enforcers.

CHITTAGONG

Jamaat-Shibir men attacked two Hindu-majority localities at Jaldi union of Banshkhali upazila and set ablaze a Buddhist temple at Satkania upazila of the district on 28 February.

They set fire to houses at Dhopapara and Mohajonpara of the union and attacked people with sticks, iron rods and sharp weapons, said Inspector Md Shahjahan of Banshkhali Police Station.

Two people had been critically wounded in the attack, said the inspector, adding that the injured had been undergoing treatment at upazila health complex.

Jamaat-Shibir men also set ablaze three shops belonging to Hindu people at Kaliaish union of Satkania upazila, said Additional Superintendent (South) Md Iltutmish of Chittagong Metropolitan Police.

GAIBANDHA

Rioters of Jamaat-e-Islami and student body Islamic Chhatra Shibir attacked a temple and business establishments belonging to Hindus at Bhelkobazar in Sundarganj upazila of the district yesterday afternoon.

Later in the evening, they swooped on and vandalised some houses in Shovaganj union.

Meanwhile, Hindu community leaders last night told The Daily Star that vandalism, arson and looting took place in temples, houses and business establishments of Hindu people in Sylhet, Rangpur, Thakurgaon, Laxmipur and Chapainawabganj.

According to them, attackers had vandalised the central Kali temple at Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur and another at Kansat in Chapainawabganj.

‘ We are observing the situation. So far we have heard they had attacked and vandalised temples, houses and business establishments of Hindu people at least in 10 districts,’ said Nirmal Chatterjee, secretary general of Dhaka Mahanagar Puja Committee.

‘ We have informed law enforcers of the situation and sought security to the Hindu community,’ he added. (Source: The Daily Star)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Jamaat’s Attacks on Minority Communities

1) The ruins of the Hindu neighbourhood of Dhopapara in Banshkhali, Chittagong after the belligerent activists and supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir torched all houses and a temple there on Thursday.

2) A man offering prayers in the burnt down temple of Dhopapara.

3) A man trying to salvage whatever he can in the wreckage of Banshkhali Upazila Parishad, which also came under the Jamaat-Shibir arson attack on Thursday.

4) A shattered idol of a Hindu goddess in a temple at Dumuria in Morelganj upazila, Bagerhat following an attack of zealots early yesterday.

5) The remains of an early Friday attack on the Pinglakathi Hindu temple in Gournadi, Barisal.

6) Two Hindu girls in sullen silence look through their damaged books on the ruins of their house in Rajganj union of Noakhali’s Begumganj upazila where religious fanatics ravaged through several Hindu neighbourhoods on Thursday.

7) Another destroyed Hindu neighbourhood in the union.

8) An elderly woman has a vacant look on her face and tears roll down her cheeks after her home was destroyed by the fanatics in Rajganj. Photo: Star, Focus Bangla (Source: The Daily Star)

 

HC asks govt as fresh attacks on Hindus in Dinajpur, Barisal

The High Court yesterday directed the government to protect until further orders the minority communities and places of worships attacked allegedly by activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP in Noakhali on Thursday.

In a suo moto rule, the authorities concerned were also asked to repair the houses and places of worships and to bring those back to their previous condition. A report on the compliance of the directives has to be submitted in the court in 10 days, the HC said.

The court passed the rule on the government following a report published in The Daily Star on March 2 with the headline ‘ Attacks on Noakhali Hindus: Victims feel insecure.’

The HC directives came in tandem with fresh attacks on minority establishments reported from Munshiganj, Dinajpur and Barisal yesterday.

Soon after the International Crimes Tribunal-1 passed a verdict against Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Delawar Hossain Sayedee for war crimes on Thursday, leaders and activists of Jamaat, its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir and local BNP men launched attacks on the Hindus in Noakhali, according to the March 2 report.

The opposition party men torched, vandalised and looted at least one temple and many houses at Begumganj of the district, sending the minorities into a panic, the report says. Jamaat-Shibir men also damaged six temples, torched 36 houses and vandalised 40 other houses after looting those at Alampur and Aladin Nagar villages in Rajganj.

Witnesses said Shibir activists Saddam and Alauddin and BNP activists Khalil and Ibrahim led the attacks.

An HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Mahmudul Hoque yesterday issued another rule upon the government to explain in 10 days why it should not be directed to arrest and prosecute the criminals.

Home secretary, inspector general of police, deputy commissioner (DC) and superintendent of police (SP) of Noakhali, and officer-in-charge (OC) of Begumganj have been made respondents to the rule.

Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukder told The Daily Star that he had already informed the DC of Noakhali of the HC order and asked him to take steps.

 

ATTACKS IN MUNSHIGANJ, BARISAL, DINAJPUR

In the latest development, a temple was set on fire at Louhajang upazila in Munshiganj around 10:00pm yesterday. Seeing the fire, people in the neighbourhood rushed to the place and doused it. But by that time many idols of Goalimandra Monipara Kali Mandir were damaged, said Anil Chandra Das, president of the temple’s committee.

Local people said they suspected that hartal supporters were behind the incident. In Barisal, unidentified miscreants tried to torch a Hindu temple at Aliganj Bazaar of Hizla upazila, but were resisted. In another incident, police arrested three people in connection with damaging and torching of idols of Hindu goddesses at Sarbojoneen Durga Mandir in Gournadi upazila of the district.

OC of Gournadi Police Station Abul Kalam Azad said police had raided different areas in the early hours yesterday and arrested Mizan Khalifa, 20, first year student of Dhaka Titumir College, Baharuddin Ahmed 31, a businessman of Dhaka and Aminul Islam, 18, student of Gournadi Kasemabad Madrasa.

‘ We have sent the arrestees to the court in the afternoon with a seven-day remand prayer for interrogation,’ the police officer said.

In Dinajpur, harvests of rice belonged to nine Hindu families were burnt to ashes and at least 50 trees were felled on the Dinajpur-Panchagarh highway at Birganj upazila allegedly by Jamaat-Shibir men. Fire brigades rushed to the spot and doused the fire, Abdul Kader Zilani, officer-in-charge of Dinajpur Sadar Upazila, confirmed. (Source: The Daily Star)

Monday, March 4, 2013 UK deplores attacks on temples

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Gibson yesterday deplored the cruel and unwarranted attacks on places of worship and private property in Bangladesh.

In a statement, the UK envoy expressed his sadness over the violence and the number of senseless and unnecessary deaths that have taken place across Bangladesh over the past few days.

He called for all parties to exercise restraint and resolve their differences through constructive and peaceful dialogue.

‘ Bangladesh has struggled hard and at great cost to achieve its independence and create a tolerant state where every citizen can live without fear of religious persecution and follow their individual faiths,’ Robert Gibson said.

‘ This great achievement risks being undermined by the callous and unacceptable actions of a few.’

The British envoy noted that while every citizen has the right to mount a peaceful protest, intimidation and imposition of strikes disrupt the lives of all citizens and hamper the operation of legitimate business. ‘ This is sending a negative signal to the international community and those wishing to invest in Bangladesh.

He further said, ‘ The UK will continue to call for all parties to exercise restraint, moderation and respect for the rule of law; and to resolve their differences through constructive and peaceful dialogue. To continue to subject the country to unnecessary disruption and violence risks undermining Bangladesh’s democratic credentials and stability.’ (Source: The Daily Star)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013- Attack on Hindus ;Khaleda finally condemns it;Stays silent over identity of culprits

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia last night condemned Thursday’s attacks on religious minorities at different parts of the country. In a statement, signed by her Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan, she also demanded punishment to the perpetrators. She, however, made no mention of BNP ally Jamaat-e-Islami which, according to victims, unleashed terror against the Hindus, burning down houses and temples, shortly after a war crimes tribunal gave death sentence to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee.

On March 1, the opposition leader categorically blamed the government for the ‘ planned attack aimed to divert people’s democratic movement and destroy the country’s communal harmony’ .
Now, four days after the atrocities against minorities, Khaleda demands the government identify and punish the perpetrators through neutral investigation and compensate the victims.

The statement urged the media not to publish anything with prejudice or get confused with propaganda from a certain quarter. Saying attempts were being made to destroy the existing religious harmony, Khaleda called for restraint.

She also said attacks on minorities were taking place at a time when people were waging movement against the ‘ government’s fascism and indiscriminate killings across the country’ .
‘ I called upon the administration and law enforcers to prevent such attacks on minorities with an iron fist,’ said Khaleda, also the leader of the opposition in the House. (Source: The Daily Star)

Jamaat continues attacking Hindus

Jamaat-Shibir attacks on Hindu community and their temples continued in different parts of the country yesterday creating widespread fear among general people living unprotected in rural areas. Reports of arson, vandalism and physical assaults on members of Hindu community and also on Awami League activists have been rampant since Thursday, when the International Crimes Tribunal-1 had awarded death penalty to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee.
Khulna

Yesterday in Khulna, more than 300 Jamaat-Shibir and BNP acitivists brought out a procession from Chad Ali Bridge in Amadi Bazar area of Koyra upazila around 10:30am, during the BNP-called hartal.

Locals said the focus of the procession suddenly turned to Dhopapara, an extremely poor locality with predominantly Hindu population traditionally making a living on washing clothes. Within minutes, eight houses belonging to Hindus were set ablaze. While the Hindu men, women and children ran for safety, the attackers looted whatever they could put their hands on.
The attackers soon swooped on to nearby Amadi Bazar. They broke into eight to 10 shops belonging to local Hindus and looted them before being dispersed by Border Guard Bangladesh and police personnel around noon.

Meanwhile, the attack left a woman and a young man injured. They were admitted to the local health complex. Amiya and Apurbo Das, who lost their home in the attack, said neighbours had tried to douse the fire but their thatched house stood no chance. Others who lost their houses to the arson include Subodh Das, Kartik Das and Sona Das. Each of the victim families had more than one thatched house. The attackers also torched a prayer room set up inside a house.
‘ We do not know what to do and are living in fear of further attacks,’ said Apurbo Das. Locals said the attackers also unleashed violent assaults on several residents.

Officer-in-Charge (OC) Khairul Kabir of Koyra Police Station said they had arrested two Shibir activists from the area. ‘Two to three houses were torched and looted and about eight shops were looted during the attack,’ said the OC. Superintendent Golum Rouf Khan of Khulna police said BNP and Jamaat-Shibir men had set fire to thatched houses and a semi-concrete structure, and vandalised shops belonging to local Hindus. The ploy in which attacks on Hindu temples and idols were executed, bear striking similarity in most cases throughout the country.

Lalmonirhar

At Rotherpar village in Aditmari upazila of Lalmonirhat, religious fanatics entered the Sree Sree Shoshan Kali Mandir [temple] some time early hours yesterday and vandalised the temple smashing the idol of goddess Kali.
President of the temple committee Subhas Chandra Roy said they had lodged a written complaint with the police and it was now up to the law enforcers to take action.

Gopalganj

At Lakhirpar village under Kotalipara upazila in Gopalganj, zealots set fire to a temple of goddess Kali on Monday around 7:45pm. The fire partially gutted the temple and destroyed four idols of the goddess. The arson instantly drew protests in the area.
Kotalipara police detained five suspects in this connection.

Natore

In Natore, Jamaat-Shibir men are strengthening themselves in the border areas of Lalpur upazila where Awami League activists and members of the Hindu community are living in fear.
On Monday evening, Jamaat-Shibir men in a bid to spread further panic set fire to a temple of Shoair village under Singra upazila and destroyed the Hori Protima [the idol of Lord Hori].
Isahaq Ali, secretary of Lalpur upazila unit Awami League, said Jamaat-Shibir men were capitalising on the innocence of the villagers through anti-minority propaganda.
‘ The situation is such that we cannot even go to the border areas of Char Jazira, Horir Char and Gorgoria where on the one hand, gangs of Jaamat-Shibir rule and on the other, outlaws roam around at large,’ said Isahaq Ali.

 

Chittagong

In Chittagong, Hindu temple Sarbajaneen Magadeshwari Mandir at East Rupkania of Satkania upazila was torched early yesterday. Sukumar Nath, a local resident, said the arson took place around 2:30am. ‘ We woke up by the sound bamboos cracking in fire and witnessed our holy temple burn to ashes,’ said Nath, adding, ‘ We do not know who did it.’

Sub-Inspector Nazmul Alam of Satkania Police Station said the pattern of all the arson attacks leads police to suspect that Jamaat-Shibir fanatics had been involved in the act.

 

Since Thursday, Jamaat-Shibir men had wrecked havoc in the area, mainly targeting the Hindu community. The fanatics have changed their tactics for attacks on the state mechanisms. In Jhenidah, Lalmonirhat, Satkhira and elsewhere they shielded their attack force by luring rural women and children in the front line of the processions with religious propaganda.

Barisal

In Uzirpur upazila of Barisal district, miscreants tried to set fire to Guthia Sarbajaneen Kali Mandir [temple] under Guthia union early yesterday.

President of the temple committee Sudhir Malakar said some miscreants had thrown burning torches of straw and tree branches inside the temple and fled the scene.
The fire died automatically as the branches and straw were not so dry but yet it partially damaged the fences said Sudhir, adding that they had informed the local upazila parishad chairman of the incident.

Officer-in-Charge Anwar Hossain of Uzirpur Police Station said a general diary had been lodged with them and that they had visited the spot and started investigating the arson attempt. (Source: The Daily Star)

Hindu family’s house burned down in arson attack

The house of a Hindu family in Laksam upazila of Comilla was burned down in an arson attack by unidentified miscreants on Friday night, said police. However, the three dwellers of the house, belonging to an expatriate, Ratan Chandra Das, escaped unhurt.

Ratan’s wife Milon Rani Das said the fire gutted Tk 1.70 lakh and 20 bhories of gold ornaments alongside furniture and rice. On information, Laksam police went to the spot and extinguished the fire with the help of locals. Ratan’s son Niloy Chandra Das, 13, said he was asleep with his mother and brother Hridoy Chandra Das, 10, in their Uttarda village residence when a sound woke him up and he found the house on fire.

He said to have heard the sound of running footsteps while they were rushing out of the house.
Md Shahadat Hossain Majumder, a senior teacher of the village’s Uttarda High School, said the incident was a part of a plot of an evil quarter orchestrating violence against minority communities around the country, including Chittagong and Noakhali.

Officer-in-Charge Md Abul Khair of Laksam Police Station termed the incident ‘ an act of sabotage’ and said police were conducting investigations into the incident. (Source: The Daily Star)

Arrest culprits in seven days ,HC asks police over Banshkhali rampage

The High Court yesterday ordered the police to arrest within seven days the culprits who attacked minority people and damaged their houses and temples in Banshkhali upazila of Chittagong on February 28 and March 2.

The court also directed the local administration to repair the houses and temples and bring those back to their previous condition within two months, and ensure protection to the victims until further orders.Issuing a suo moto rule, it asked the Attorney General’s Office to inform the court by March 14 of what steps the administration had taken after the incidents of attacks and vandalism.

In the rule, the court also asked the government to explain within 10 days why it should not be directed to take appropriate legal action against the culprits. The bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Mahmudul Hoque came up with the order and the rule following news reports of different newspapers, including The Daily Star, on the attacks and vandalism.

Home secretary, inspector general of police, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Chittagong, upazila nirbahi officer of Banshkhali and officer-in-charge of Banshkhali Police Station have been made respondents to the rule. The minority people in Banshkhali came under attack allegedly by Jamaat-e-Islami activists after a war crimes tribunal on February 28 sentenced Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee to death for his crimes against humanity.

Yesterday, Supreme Court lawyers Subrata Chowdhury and Anupam Biswas placed the newspaper reports before the HC bench and prayed to the court to pass necessary orders.
The lawyers said at least four people were killed and several others were injured and temples and houses were damaged by Jamaat-e-Islami men at Banshkhali. But the administration did not arrest anybody and take any effective measure in connection with the incident, they added. (Source: The Daily Star)

 Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Idol damaged, protesters form human chain

Criminals damaged an idol at a ‘Kali Temple’ at Achim Bazar of Phulbaria upazila early yesterday. The damaged idol was of Goddess Swarasati, police said.
Anwar Hossain Bhuiyan, officer in-charge of Phulbaria police station, said hoodlums entered the temple early yesterday and broke the Swarasati idol into pieces. However, the other idols remained intact, said the OC.

On information, police visited the spot in the morning and talked to the local leaders of Hindu community and public representatives. A case was lodged with Phulbaria police station but none was arrested till filing of this report yesterday afternoon.

Bogra

In Bogra, a human chain was formed by Hindus in Shantahar railway station area under Adamdighi upazila yesterday morning, reports our correspondent.
The participants protested the attack by Jamaat-Shibir men on houses, business centers, temples and vandalism and arson across the country.

Under the banner of Shantahar Puja Udjapon Parishad, the human chain was joined by people from all walks of life, enchanting ‘ Dharmo Jar Jar, Desh Sobar’ (Region is yours but the country belongs to all) slogan. President of the parishad Shibesh Kumar Idul presided the programme. Organiser of liberation war Kochim Uddin Ahmad, former chairman of Shantahar municipality and freedom fighter Golam Morshed, FF Ajmal Hossen and noted businessman Raj Kumar Shaha and others were present at the human chain. (Source: The Daily Star)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Attacks on Hindus Govt to rehabilitate victims

The government will rehabilitate the victims of religious minorities whose houses and temples were attacked by fanatics around two weeks ago. ‘ A decision has been taken to rehabilitate them. It’s our moral responsibility to stand beside them,’ Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury told The Daily Star yesterday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already sent some supports to many of the areas attacked by Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir men, officials said. The government will first assess the losses and act accordingly. But when the rehabilitation work will start officially is not clear. Officials said the offices of the deputy commissioners (DC) from Chittagong, Noakhali, Comilla, Cox’s Bazar, Rajshahi, Bagerhat, and Bogra had started gathering information.

‘ We are collecting information from various sources and preparing a detailed report on the financial losses,’ said Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Shaikh Md Wahid-uz-Zaman.

The losses could exceed Tk 200 crore or even Tk 500 crore, he said. ‘ The government will take all-out measurers to rehabilitate the religious minorities.’ Some ministers will visit the most affected areas to gather first hand information about the casualties. The agriculture minister will lead a team to Bogra on March 20 and Environment and Forests Minister Hasan Mahmud will visit Chittagong.

Meanwhile, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader has visited Noakhali and arranged rehabilitation in some affected areas and distributed money personally. (Source: The Daily Star)

Saturday, March 16, 2013: Attack on Minorities; Home Minister finally visits affected area in Ctg

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday said the state will make its highest effort to punish the attackers of religious minorities. He was addressing a meeting at Banshkhali Upazila Parishad ground after visiting different areas affected by Jamaat-Shibir violence on February 28. It was his first visit to an affected area after the Jamaat-Shibir men had unleashed mayhem across the country on that day, hours after the International Crimes Tribunal-1 awarded death penalty to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.

‘ Those who attacked the religious minorities and torched their houses and temples are anti-liberation forces. They [attackers] are against our country and Liberation War and Bangladesh has no place for them,’ said MK Alamgir.

He pledged to confront with iron hands those who are trying to foil the war crimes trial and attacked the religious minorities. The minister visited the affected Hindu families, temples, UNO office, upazila parishad office and court building under Banshkhali Municipality.
He distributed Tk 10,000 among each of seven Hindu families whose houses were burned down in the attack.

On February 28, activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir vandalised and torched the courts of senior judicial magistrate and senior assistant judge, Upazila Parishad office, upazila krishi office, office of upazila fisheries officer and office of upazila nirbahi officer (UNO). (Source: The Daily Star)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013: Attacks On Minorities;Academics call for rehabilitation

Teachers of Dhaka University hold a solidarity meeting at Aparajeya Bangla yesterday, calling for furthering the spirit of the Liberation War and condemning those who carried out communal attacks on minorities. Photo: Star

Academicians, victims of recent communal attacks, and Shahbagh protesters yesterday called upon the government to immediately ensure rehabilitation of the minorities who lost their houses, worship places and business establishments in Jamaat-Shibir attacks.

They also demanded immediate arrest and trial of Jamaat-e-Islami and pro-Jamaat Islami Chhatra Shibir activists who are responsible for the countrywide attacks after Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death on February 28. The demands came at a ‘ solidarity rally’ organised by Dhaka University teachers before Aparajeya Bangla on the campus.

They also urged the countrymen to resist Jamaat-Shibir terror, reiterating that the politics of the anti-liberation forces should be banned for their role since 1971. DU Prof Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury said the state apparatus is responsible for its failure to protect the minority community.

burnNoted educationist Ajoy Roy said they did not attack the minorities for destroying their houses or worship places, rather their motive is to turn the country into a communal one like Pakistan. He announced to hold a rally before TSC cafeteria on March 29. Citing the communal attacks as violation of human rights, Gonojagoron Mancha Convener Imran H Sarkar criticised the role of different international human rights organisations who termed the capital punishment for war criminals as ‘ inhumane’ . (Source: The Daily Star)

 

Thursday, March 28, 2013: Houses of three Hindu families attacked for skipping AL meeting

A group of people allegedly belonging to the ruling Awami League (AL) vandalised eight houses of three Hindu families at Doyarampur village in Kumarkhali upazila on Tuesday night for not attending an AL meeting at the upazila headquarters. A case was filed with Kumarkhali Police Station of Kushtia district in this connection and police arrested two of the attackers, Abdur Rashid and Ibrahim Hossain, of the same village early yesterday, said Mofiz Uddin Ahmed, superintendent of police, Kushtia.

Shamsuzzaman Arun, Kumarkhali municipality mayor and also general secretary of AL upazila unit, said the arrestees are AL activists. Deputy Commissioner (DC) Syed Belal Hossain, Superintendent of Police Mofiz Uddin, Kumarkhali Upazila Parishad Chairman Abdur Rouf visited the village at around 12:30am.

Police said a group of at least 20 people vandalised the houses of Kartik Ghosh, Montu Ghosh and Robi Ghosh at the village around 9:00pm on Tuesday. According to the case filed by Kartik Ghosh, one of the victims, a group of 20 to 25 people led by Abdur Rashid and Ibrahim Hossain, came to their house in the morning and introduced themselves as the men of Kumarkhali upazila AL President Abdul Mannan Khan.

They asked all members of the three Hindu families to join the meeting of upazila AL at Kumarkhali municipality market ground in the afternoon, Kartik said. ‘ As only a few of us attended the meeting, the group led by the duo attacked our houses and looted valuables including gold ornaments,’ he further stated.

Upazila Parishad Chairman Abdur Rouf has strongly condemned the incident and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits involved. Advocate Joydev Biswas, president of the Kushtia unit of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikyia Parishad, yesterday protested the attack on the houses of three Hindu families at Doyarampur village in Kumarkhali upazila and demanded arrest and exemplary punishment of the attackers. Deputy Commissioner Syed Belal Hossain said stern action will be taken against the persons involved in the attack.  Law enforcers have been asked to arrest the rest of the culprits, the DC added. (Source: The Daily Star)

Friday, March 29, 2013: 2 temples vandalised

Criminals set fire to a temple in Rangamati and vandalised another in Naogaon early yesterday.
Some people set fire to Shree Shree Hari Mondir at Amtali Bazar under Baghaichhari upazila of Rangamati around 5:00am and fled the scene, said Md Rafiqullah, officer in-charge of Baghaichhari Police Station. Police later held a union-level BNP leader and four activists of the Jamaat-e-Islami in this connection. They are Sirajul Islam Bachchu, general secretary of Amtali union unit of the BNP and Jamaat activists Alam, Shafi, Haris and Ahad Bhandari.
The OC blamed the arson on the BNP and Jamaat men. Bhuson Som, president of the temple committee, condemned the attack, and demanded punishment to those who were behind it.
Meanwhile, unidentified criminals vandalised an idol of Hindu goddess Swaraswati at Ramnagar village under Manda upazila in Naogaon.

The idol had been taken away from a temple at the residence of Soumendranath Pramanik in the middle of the night, said Abdullah Hel Baki, officer-in-charge of Manda Police Station.
Later, broken pieces of the idol were found in a field some three hundred yards from the temple, the OC said, adding local people informed the police of the damaged idol in the morning.
Soumendranath filed a case with the police station in this regard. (Source: The Daily Star)

Sunday, March 31, 2013: Protect minority community. Need for citizens’ resistance committees

RECENT attacks on members of Hindu community and destruction of their properties and temples have been a shame for a pluralistic society. Despite the government’s promise to stop the onslaught on the community and its assurances to protect them, there is still no sign that acts of vandalism are abating.

Against this backdrop, participants in a roundtable, while voicing their concerns over the trend urged political leaders, intellectuals, cultural activists and members of the common people to form citizens’ committees at the local level to combat this menace.

Involvement of the entire community is an essential element of creating resistance against quarters out to destabilise communal harmony. And any worthwhile programme to deal with problems of this nature must be inclusive.

So far, the government has increased police presence and sent some relief materials to the affected localities. There is need for more of this.And short of taking a comprehensive strategy through involving the community, the government has been blaming the opposition and Jamaat-Shibir elements for the communal attacks.

As a consequence, fear and an acute sense of insecurity have gripped them. This has somewhat tarnished the image of the government and the country, which is avowedly a secular one. It is expected that the government develop a failsafe strategy to combat communal violence. Side by side with forming citizens’ committees, it should also ensure that the Members of Parliament (MPs) are present in their own constituencies to motivate the people to resist those fanatics trying to destabilise society. We would do well to remember that how we treat the minority community will be a measure of civilised conduct in our society.

Saturday, March 30, 2013: Urge noted citizens; NHRC chief frustrated over failure to protect them

The formation of citizens’ committees composed of political leaders, intellectuals, cultural activists and general masses in every locality is a must to resist repressions on the minority communities, speakers told a roundtable yesterday. They said torture on the minorities, which has been a recurrent phenomenon across the country, is now increasing geometrically.

The recent attacks on them, particularly the Hindus, have serious dimensions in terms of its characteristics which lead to a silent but rapid migration of the persecuted people, they added.
Sampreeti Mancha, a citizens’ platform, organised the roundtable titled ‘ Duties to resist minority repression’ at TSC cafeteria at Dhaka University campus.
The lawmakers will have to go to their own constituencies not only to stand beside the victims but also to unite local leaders and people to raise a defence against any repression, the speakers observed. They also suggested the lawmakers initiate a new cultural revolution in their localities.
Pointing at the recent attacks on the minorities across the country, Prof Ajoy Roy, president of the Mancha, said the migration rate of the Hindus has increased to a large extent with the wealthy and meritorious people of this community leaving the country.
The marginal Hindus, especially the poor, are the victims of the recent attacks, he said, adding, ‘ We have to stand against the attackers and resist them unitedly.’

Expressing frustration over the recent attacks on the minorities, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman said there will be no Hindu citizen left in Bangladesh after 20 years.

‘ Because we did whatever is needed to force them [Hindus] out of the country and we have always failed to do what was needed to protect them,’ he added. The NHRC chief cautioned that whatever has happened in the recent time was merely a rehearsal and the final act was yet to come. ‘ Are we — the citizens, civil society members and the government — prepared for that? It’s not the time for talks only; it’s high time we came forward and acted to resist that quarter which is playing a game to destroy the state,’ he said. ‘ We have to form citizens’ committee in every vulnerable areas,’ Prof Mizanur said, demanding that the government quickly rebuild the damaged houses and temples of the minorities as it did in Ramu.

Kajol Debnath, presidium member of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, suggested the government get prepared to thwart possible violence centring war crimes verdicts to be delivered in the coming days. Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam Selim, its presidium member Haider Akbar Khan Rono, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum Sanjib Drong and Mancha leaders Sourav Sikdar and Robayet Ferdous also spoke. (Source: The Daily Star)

 Investigation by BDMW on April 2013

Bangladesh Minority Watch has investigated a number of cases in the month of March. Short descriptions of the cases are stated here.

Case 1: Agailjhara, Barisal

 

Type of Violation: Right to own/retain property

Type of Act: Vandalising statue of Hindu deity

Investigation conducted by: Adv. Rabindra Ghosh and Badal Bairagi

Date of Incident: 13 March 2013

Location: Village: Bagpara, Union Council: Bakal, Police Station: Agailjhara, District: Barisal.

Date of Investigation: 10 April 2013

 

Description:

 

On 13.03.2013 at about 03.30 one of the devotees Mr. Anjan Sarkar by his Cell telephone number 01739908486 informed the complainant – Mrinal Kanti Bepari that ‘ Bagpara Sarbajanin Sree Sree Kali Mandir’ was attacked and broken by some unknown perpetrators. As soon as Mrinal Kanti Bepari got information he went to the spot and saw the lock and key of the Temple was not broken but the Kali Murthi (statue) was broken & defaced, but the other statue of Hindu Goddess nearby were not found broken. Mrinal Kanti informed Dr. Nil Kanta Bepari (71) and others and they found the broken Hindu Kali Deities at the spot. Mrinal Kanti said ‘ The Hindu deities have been broken with a view to defame the Hindu religion.’

Due to breaking of this statue they sustained an amount of Taka 5,000/-. Mrinal Kanti lodged F.I.R. at Agoiljhara Police station on 13.03.2013 under section 448/295/34 of penal code without naming any suspected perpetrators.

Identity of the victims: The victims all are followers of Hinduism. They all belong to minority Hindu community.

 

Name: Horihar Biswas (68), Mrinal Kanti Bepari (65) Kunja Bihari Baisnab (45) Anjan Sarkar (35) Bibhuti Sarkar (40) Amullya Sarkar (80) Narayan Chandra Biswas (40) Kushablal Baisnab (40) Debashish Bepari (25) Sunil chandra Bepari (70) Saroj Bepari (38) Nirmal halder (38) Balaram Halder (64) Parimal Halder (50) Nirmal Halder (42) Monotosh Sarkar (35) Kamal Biswas (35) Amal Biswasw (35) Kanai Lal Baisnab (58) Kapil Krishna Baisnab (70) Nil Kanta Sarkar (58) Nil Ratan Sarkar (48) Shankar Bepari (35) Kritanta Baisnab (25) Ms.Jhunu Rani Biswas (32) Ms.Sriti Rani Biswas (35) Ms. Mitu Rani Biswas (30) Ms. Sumati Rani Baisnab (32) Ms. Sabita Rani Bepari (45)

Alleged perpetrator(s): Unidentified

Legal status: Mrinal Kanti Bepari (62) son of late Monoranjan Bepari lodged F.I.R. at Agoiljhara P.S. on 13.03.13 under section 448/295/34 of penal code without naming the accused. Police could not arrest any perpetrators till writing of this report.

 

Action: Adv. Rabindra Ghosh along with Badal Bairagi visited the spot. The team talked with the victims, took their statements. He also visited the respective police station, talked with Md.Sajjat Hossain who informed Mr.Ghosh that some BNP personnel belonging to Hindus demolished and desecrated the Hindu deities.   As the incident took place in midnight none could say about perpetrators. But on query all the victims informed team that no Hindu perpetrator could demolish their own Goddess.  We are of the opinion that there might be some more interesting things to be presumed that as the village is full of Hindu communities, no other Muslim communities could dare to come for demolition of the deities.

 

Case 2: Gouranadi, Barisal

 Type of Violation: Violation of the right to belif/religion, right to own/retain property.

Type of Act: Set fire on Hindu Deities in a temple, Arson attack.

Date of Incident:  02 April 2013

Location:  Village: Boradi Garangal, Upazila: Gouranadi, District: Barisal.

Date of investigation: 10 April 2013

Investigation conducted by: Adv. Rabindra Ghosh, Mr. Binay and Mr. Badal Bairagi

 

Description: On the 02 April 2013 unidentified perpetrators attacked a Hindu temple and burnt statues of Hindu deities. The temple was Boradi Garangal Sarvajanin Durga Mandir at Gouranadi upazila in Barisal district. Within 02:15am to 02:30am someone or some perpetrators set fire on the temple. Eight statues including Goddess Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and lord Mahadeva, Kartika, Ganesha were completely burnt to ashes. Two pillars and some other portion of the temple were also burnt. A damage of 50,000/= taka occurred there.

Mr. Nabakrishna Datta, the president of the temple management committee, on behalf of all the devotees of the temple, filed a case on that day. The case number is 03, dated 02/03/2013 at Gouranadi police station in Barisal.

Identity of the victims:

The victims all are followers of Hinduism. They all belong to minority Hindu community.

Name: Mr. Nabakrishna Datta (60) son of late Dulal Chandra Datta,Dulal Chandra Das (58) son of Late Jatindra Das,Ramkrishna Chandra Das (65) son of Late Sadananda Das, Dilip Nandi (48) son of Bipad Bhanjan Nandi, Dulali Rani Mandal –wife of Chitta Ranjan Mandal and more than two hundred other Hindu devotees of the locality.

Alleged perpetrator(s):

The victim filed the case against unidentified perpetrators.

The police investigation found the following perpetrators.

1)       Md. Aminul Islam (20) son of Badsha Howladar, village: Hazi Para of Dakshin Pingalakathi, Police Station: Gouranadi, District: Barisal.

2)       Md. Mizan Khalifa (20) son of Esahak Khalifa, village: Dakshin Pingalakathi, Police station: Gouranadi, District: Barisal.

3)       Bahauddin Bahar (32) son of Belayet Ali Howladar, village: Purva Garangal, Police station: Gouranadi, District: Barisal.

4)       Md. Sarwar Hossain Pannu (36) son of A. Sattar Khandakar, village: Diyashur, Ward number 8, Municipality of Gouranadi, Barisal.

5)       Md. Manir Khalifa (37) son of Md. Samsuddin Khalifa (Kalu Khalifa), village: Kalna, Ward number 2, Nalchira Union Council, Police station: Gouranadi, District: Barisal.

6)       Md.Alauddin Bepari (45) son of late Nur Mohammad Bepari, village: Kashemabad, Gouranadi municipality, Barisal.

All the perpetrators are Muslims and followers of Islam. BDMW got above information from police station.

Legal Status:

 

On behalf of all devotees of the temple Mr. Nabakrishna Datta, the president of the temple management committee filed a case against some unknown perpetrators. Mr. Datta also claimed a damage of more than BDT 50,000/-.

The case number is 03 dated 02/04/2013 at Gouranadi police station in Barisal district. The police investigated the case and arrested six perpetrators. But all perpetrators got bail as the victim applied to the police authority.

Action by BDMW: Adv. Rabindra Ghosh along with some assistants visited the spot of the incident. They took statements of the victims. They also visited the Officer-in-Charge (O.C) of Gouranadi police station. BDMW exclaimed that the perpetrators should be taken for remand to extract their confessional statements whether they are guilty or not. Moreover the victim Mr. Nabakrishna Datta, being threatened, denied allegation of the perpetrators with this incident and facilitated the perpetrators getting bail. Mr. Datta as well as the O.C. admitted this fact.

 

Case 3: Sonargaon, Narayanganj

Type of Violation: Right to retain/own property, right to personal integrity

Type of Act: Land grabbing, physical assault

Date of Incident: 02 April 2013

Location: Village: Bastal, Union Council: Jampur, Upazila: Sonargaon, District: Narayanganj

Date of investigation: 13th April, 2013

Investigation conducted by: Adv. Rabindra Ghosh, Biswajit Das

Description:

 

There is a long term dispute regarding land property among the victim Harinath Namodas (21) son of late Harendranath Das, village: Bastal, police station: Sonargaon, district: Narayanganj, and the alleged perpetrators from the same address and locality. The perpetrators are Md. Golzar (38) son of Joynal, Kadir (45) son of Joynal, Alamgir (28) son of Nur Mohammad, Mostakin (26) son of Shahjahan, Md. Mafi (36) son of Ambar Ali, Jamai Shahjahan (55) son of Shukkur Ali, Md. Suman (28) son of Majibar Rahman and 12/13 other persons. They don’t possess any valid documents to show that the land in question is belonging to perpetrators. But on the contrary the victim Harinath Namodas got valid documents and possessory rights by dint of inheritance.

For years the perpetrators are threatening the victim to give his land to them or else he along with his family members would be killed. This is the 3rd time attack on this minority family by those powerful perpetrators belonging to activists of Awami League in power. Following this on the 2nd April 2013 at 10:30am the perpetrators entered the house of the victim illegally and started threatening them again. They thrashed and broke the tin-made wall of the destitute family. Then they most illegally entered into the room of the victim and dragged him outside. They brutally attacked the victim and injured him by punch, kick, and by stick. The victim was severely injured at his right ear, head, legs, chest, back and many other parts of his body. The victim’s mother Sanchita Rani (39) and younger brother Parimal (19), Shyamal (14), younger sister Reeta (10) came forward to save Harinath. Unfortunately they were also brutally beaten and injured by those perpetrators.

The perpetrators vandalised their family box and looted cash amounted more than 50,000 taka. A golden chain of Harinath’s mother weighing 4 Ana costing 15,000 taka and a set of ear ring weighing about 4 Ana costing about 15,000 taka, a mobile handset of the victim costing 3,000 taka were looted forcefully from them. Hearing shouting of the victims the neighbours came forward. At that time the perpetrators left the house threatening again to kill the victim. By the help of neighbouring people Harinath’s mother took him to Sonargaon Hospital. Soon after the physical assault and hooliganism, Adv. Ghosh was informed by the mother of the victim over phone and as soon as Mr. Ghosh got information about the assault he immediately communicated with the Superintendent of Police, Narayangonj and O.C. Sonargaon P.S. and other law enforcing agencies for the safety and security of the victims.

Identity of the victim:

Name:

1) Harinath Namodas (21) son of late Harendra Namodas, a carpenter

2) Sanchita Rani (39) wife of late Harendra Namodas, a housewife

3) Parimal Namodas (19) son of late Harendra Namodas, a college going student

4) Shyamal Namodas (14) son of late Harendra Namodas, a secondary school going student

5) Reeta Namodas (10) daughter of late Harendra Namodas, a primary school going student

Alleged perpetrator(s):

  1. Golzar (38) son of Joynal, leader of B.N.P (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) at Jampur Union branch.
  2. Kadir (45) son of Joynal, leader of B.N.P (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) at Jampur Union branch.
  3. Alamgir (28) son of Nur Mohammad, activist of B.N.P (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) at Jampur Union branch.
  4. Mostakin (26) son of Shahjahan, activist of B.N.P (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) at Jampur Union branch.
  5. Mafi (36) son of Ambar Ali, activist of B.N.P (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) at Jampur Union branch.
  6. Jamai Shahjahan (55) son of Shukkur Ali, activist of B.N.P (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) at Jampur Union branch.
  7. Suman (28) son of Majibar Rahman, activist of B.N.P (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) at Jampur Union branch.

All the perpetrators are from Bastal village at Jampur Union Council under Sonargaon police station in Narayanganj district. All of them are followers of Islam. BDMW got this information from police report.

Legal status: The victim filed a case against the perpetrators at Sonargaon police station. The case number is 07, dated 06/04/2013 under BPC section 143/447/448/323/379/380/427/506. The case was submitted to court and the perpetrators surrendered before the court and the court granted them to remain on bail.

Action by BDMW: On behalf of BDMW Advocate Rabindra Ghosh and Bishwajit Das visited the spot and took statements of the victims. They visited the police station and collected update about proceedings of the case. At the time of investigation the Officer-in-Charge Mr. Atikur Rahman, a Sub-Inspector Mr. Sadhan was present. But it is very unfortunate that the local government and the O.C of the police station did not take any preventive measures just to give security and protection to the victims in the previous incidents of torture and intimidation. We have also taken statements of the victims as well as the police officer at the spot. The O.C of the police station assured that the orphan Harinath Namodas and his properties will be protected. But we observed in presence of police the perpetrators were moving around the police station. However no action has been taken. The team also observed that there is a secret relationship between the perpetrators and the police. As a result of this relationship there might be miscarriage of justice and the perpetrators might get impunity out of this illegal relationship.

 

Press/ Media

First Incident:

Houses of Hindu family vandalised and looted

Published in the Bengali daily Juger Chinta, dated 08 March, 2010

 

Consequent upon dispute regarding land, houses and valuable goods of a Hindu family have been vandalised and looted in presence of general secretary of Upazila Awami League. The incident took place at Bastal village of Jampur union council under Sonargaon upazila in Narayanganj at the house of Harindra Namodas. More than one hundred fruits bearing trees have been cut and looted by perpetrators on that very day.

Shri Harindra Namodas (he was alive at that time) filed a General Diary at Sonargaon police station. Police visited the spot. (Partly translated from Bengali. Later the victims’ house was looted again and they have lost the copy of General Diary

Second Incident:

 

Inhuman torture and repression on a minority family at Sonargaon

Published in Bengali daily Dainik Purbodesh, dated 22 August 2011

Regarding a land dispute a minority family is being tortured at the village of Bastal under Jampur union council in Sonargaon…

The perpetrators are trying to seize all of their properties. Shri Harinath Namodas had frequently been tortured and attempted to be murdered. Valuable properties have been looted from the victim’s house. Some portion of the victim’s land has been forcefully grabbed and a building thereon was built illegally by the concerned ‘ Srijan Housing Ltd.’  owned by Alhaz Shamim Tareq. Now the perpetrators (at August 2011) stay at this building at night and enjoy drugs, gambling and prostitutes. They have good relationship with local government officers and they have not yet been arrested. So they have become more ferocious and dangerous for this family. Having been harassed by the perpetrators the father of Harinath Namodas, Shri Harindra Namodas is under death bed. The perpetrators threatened the victims to be killed if they voluntarily surrender the land. The victim Harinath Namodas expected help from the Prime Minister, Home minister and Hindu leaders of the country. But no remedial measures had been taken. (Translated from Bengali)

 

Third Incident:

Attack on Minority family at Sonargaon, House vandalised and looted, Injured 5

Published in Bangla national dailies SamakalJugantar and Kaler Kantho

Date: 6 April, 2013

A house of Hindu family has been attacked, vandalised and looted from Bastal village at Sonargaon upazila in Narayanganj district. Five members of that family including woman and children have been severely injured. Having been threatened three children of that family cannot go to school.

In order to grab land property of Harinath Namodas, the perpetrators from the same village named Goljar, Kadir, Alamgir, Mostakim and Suman along with 15-20 other persons are trying for many years. On the 5 April 2013 the perpetrators attacked the family again and vandalised and looted their house. They also physically tortured and severely injured Hardnath Namodas, his brothers Shyamal and Parimal, mother Sanchita Rani, sister Rita Rani. The injured victim Harinath told press media that the perpetrators are pressurising him to sell his land to a housing company. As he did not agree to sell his property, the perpetrators started torture on them.

Minority family tortured in Dhamrai

Grabbing and repossession of land issue led to inhuman torture on a minority family in Damrai. As the court admitted a claim of the minority family and punished the perpetrators one year jail, the perpetrators became ferocious on the minority family. They exposed the minority family as cannabis and fake money dealer and charged them to police.

The incident took place at Basuakhola village under Suapur union council in Dhamrai police station of Dhaka.

Previously the plaintiff and a female member of his family were brutally tortured and restrained all day long at the union council office. As the boy became sick and got admitted to Anam Medical College at Savar the chairman freed one person and charged another to police claiming his illegal activity. On the other side, regarding another false and concocted case other two members of the minority family have been arrested by police. [Published in the Bangla Daily Jugantor, dated 25 May 2013, translated from Bangla]

 

Minority family met the press begging their lives to PM

On Friday (24-05-2013) a minority family met the press at the press club of Nabinagar in Brahminbaria district begging their lives to the prime minister and the home minister. A written statement was read out by Bikash Chandra Das, son of Shanti Ranjan Das, a stationary enterprise owner at Bangura Bazar in Jindpur union council under Nabinagar upazila of Brahminbaria district. He said, ‘ Firoza Begum, the second wife of Md. Abul Mia belonging to the same village Bangura and her people together forced him to sign a blank legal stamp. Thereby they grabbed his business enterprise. Regarding this incident I filed a case at court on 20th June, 2012. Police investigated the case and found the claim factual. They forwarded the investigation report to the court. Consequently the woman became angrier on me. He tortured on my family members and hanged lock on my business enterprise. Being informed police went to the spot and breaking the lock they returned my business to me. After that the people of Firoza Begum increased the torture upon our family. Now I along with my family members am staying outside my own house and village.’ Mr. Mintu Mia, a member of Jindpur union council, and Mr. Jahirul Haq, the president of Bangura Bazar Committee informed that the accused woman is crazy and listen to none. We tried a lot but failed to recover the stamp paper. [Published in the Bangla Daily Ajkaler Khabor, dated 25 May 2013, translated from Bangla]

 

Temple and Statue Burnt in Thakurgaon

A temple of goddess Saraswati has been burnt by perpetrators in Thakurgaon. The statue of Hindu deity has been also burnt. At late night of 20 May 2013 the incident happened at Hathatpara in the town of Thakurgaon.

Local inhabitants informed that there are a Shiva temple and a Saraswati temple beside the temple of goddess Ganga. On Monday late night some unidentified perpetrators burnt the temple. Some portion of the statue of goddess Saraswati was also burnt.

President of Puja Udyapan Commiittee Mr. Ashok Kumar told that a person named Abdul Majed is claiming the land property of the temple as his own. He is also trying to grab this land. This incident might have been occurred by him or by his people. Regarding this incident the police of Sadar police station of Thakurgaon have arrested Abdul Majid (55) and his son Rasel (30). [Published in the Daily Janata, dated 21 May 2013, translated from Bangla]

Kali Temple torched in Manikganj

On 18 May 2013 a temple of Goddess Kali has been set on fire in Manikganj. At midnight of Saturday some unidentified perpetrators set fire on that temple and statue of its deity. Some valuable ornaments, cloths and the statue were burnt due to that attack.

The incident took place at the village of Kawarbil under Shibalay police station in Manikganj district. Police from Shibalaya police station visited the spot.

A devotee of the temple Ms. Chinu Rani Chanda informed that few days ago her son Sameer was physically assaulted by Moktar Hossain’s son Aminul Islam and Abdul Ahad. Police arrested Abdul Ahad against a case filed on Shibalay police station regarding that incident. After that Aminul Islam went house of Chinu Rani Chanda with 10-12 persons and threatened her to withdraw the case file from the police station and otherwise they will lead her family to leave this country. She claimed that the arson attack was a consequence of that incident.

The General Secretary of the temple management committee Mr. Gour Chandra Mandal told that he came to know about the incident on that morning and informed the law enforcement authority in Shibalay police station about the fact.

The Chairman of Mahadevpur Union Council Mr. Mahamud Amin Duke demanded exemplary punishment of the perpetrators. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) of Shibalay Circle Md. Wahiduzzaman, Officer-in-Charge (O.C) Mr. Abul Kalam Azad visited the spot. The ASP told that legal action will be taken after proper investigation of the incident. [Published in the Daily Sangbad, dated 20 May 2013, translated from Bangla] (Compiled by Bangladesh Minority Watch)

As per report of The Daily Star, ‘ ‘Sporadic violence in different parts of the country left one person killed and more than 50 injured yesterday (09 April 2013) as the 36-hour shutdown imposed by the BNP-led 18-party alliance began to press for the release of its leaders.To add to the woes of city dwellers, especially the poor, Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, has called for another hartal tomorrow protesting the ‘ torture of its detained president Delwar Hossain in police remand’ .

In the capital, several crude bombs were exploded in different parts during the hartal. Law enforcers remained on guard at the BNP’s Nayapaltan headquarters since early morning yesterday.

A truck driver was killed when pickets threw brick chips in Baropur area on the Dhaka-Rangpur highway in Bogra around 5:00am.The brick-chips hit the driver, breaking through the windshield and leaving driver Shahidul Islam Khokon critically injured. Doctors declared him dead after he was taken to a hospital.

At least 25 people were injured in a clash between activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal in Moulvibazar. At least 15 vehicles and 10 shops were vandalised during the violence. Police arrested four people.

In Narayanganj, 10 people were injured, two by bullets, as the opposition men fought with police. Twenty-three BNP men were detained in this connection. Police and BNP men exchanged bullets at Chakaria upazila of Cox’s Bazaar, leaving two opposition activists wounded.

In Jamalpur, 10 people were injured in a clash between BCL and BNP men.

In Rajshahi, three people were injured when JCD men clashed with police. Law enforcers fired over 100 rubber bullets and teargas shells to disperse the JCD men, who blasted five cocktails.

Pickets vandalised ten battery-run auto rickshaws, a car and set fire to a pick-up van and three battery-run auto rickshaws at different points in Rangpur. Police arrested five pro-hartal activists.

Other districts such as Jessore, Pirojpur, Chapainawabganj, Chandpur, Gazipur, Pabna, Dinajpur, Chittagong and Khulna also witnessed clashes during the hartal hours.

Unidentified people burned two buses in Gazipur sadar upazila around 7:00pm yesterday.Meanwhile, Khagrachhari, Rangamati and Bandarban have been exempted from the purview of the hartal on the occasion of Boishabi, a traditional festival of indigenous people welcoming the New Year.’ ’From the report above it is clear the hard core Islamist Organisations like Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh as sponsored by Jamaat -e-Islami Bangladesh or the Hizb ut-Tahrir from the back drop do not leave the ground of Dhaka until the revive a Fundamental Autocracy of Islam again in Bangladesh.These Islamic nexus to destroy the remaining secular thread of Bangladesh through a huge source of money coming from Arabic and Talibani world. Now it is flashed that Tk 85cr was spent for Hefajat long march to Dhaka to boost up the Islamist of Bangladesh in a very Islamic way.

idolAll these hoodlums’ endeavor are meant for the cessation of rights of  Non-Muslims in BD through declaring Bangladesh a complete Islamic State. They are not satisfied with a state religion status of Islam in Bangladesh, where 90% population comes under Islamic faith. The most dangerous 13 point demand of Hefajat has its every force to reconvert Bangladesh again as an Islamic State of  Zia ul Haque regimen.

 

In a written statement, the Hefajat Ameer Shah Ahmad Shafi said, ’ Our current movement is not political. It’ll (govt) have to agree to our 13-point demand in order to continue in office.

 

The ruling Awami League is also shifting gradually from its secular standpoints and have started giving relaxation to the Jamaat , Chatra Shivir and Hefajt to calm down a huge mass in favour of the Islamic Law in  Bangladesh.

The 13 points of the Islamist group Hefajat-e Islam may be the last thirteen nails in the coffin of Bangladesh Democracy as experts think too ominous. Undoubtedly, the following points must be the unlucky thirteen for the Bangladeshi minorities.

  1. Restore the phrase ‘Complete faith and trust in the Almighty Allah’ in the constitution and repeal all the laws contrary to the holy Quran and Sunnah.
  2. Pass a law in parliament keeping a provision of the maximum punishment of death sentence to prevent defaming Allah, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and Islam and smear campaigns against Muslims.
  3. Take measures for stringent punishment against self-declared atheists and bloggers, led the so-called Shahbagh movement, and anti-Islamists who made derogatory remarks against the Prophet.
  4. Stop infiltration of all alien-culture, including shamelessness in the name of individual’s freedom of expression, ant-social activities, adultery, free mixing of male and female and candle lighting.
  5. Make Islamic education mandatory from primary to higher secondary levels canceling the anti-Islamic women policy and anti-religion education policy.
  6. Officially declare Qadianis (Ahmadiyyas) as non-Muslim and stop their propaganda and all conspiratorial ill-moves.
  7. Stop setting up sculptures at intersections, schools, colleges and universities across the country.
  8. Lift restriction on saying payers in all mosques across the country, including Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, without any hassle and remove obstacles to carrying out religious activities.
  9. Stop evil efforts to spread hatred in the mind of young generation regarding Islam through the misrepresentation of religious dresses and cultures in the media.
  10. Stop anti-Islam activities by NGOs across the country, including in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and evil attempts of Christian missionaries for conversion.
  11. Stop attacks, mass killing, oppression and indiscriminate shooting on Alem-Ulama, devout followers of the Prophet and towhidi janata (revolutionary people).
  12. Stop threatening teachers and students of Qawmi madrasas, Islamic scholars, imams and khatibs and conspiracies against them.
  13. Free immediately all the arrested Islamic scholars, madrasa students and towhidi janata and withdraw all false cases filed against them, compensate the victims and bring the assailants to justice.

In such a way the Insane Islam is pervading Bangladesh aiming a target to make Bangladesh as definite Hinduless in coming 10 years.

There were around 50,000 Razakars who opposed Bangladesh’s independence. To abort the birth of Bangladesh they carried out a systematic cleansing operation of freedom fighters, students, teachers, intellectuals and religious minorities. a Quarter million women were raped. War Crimes Facts Finding Committee (WCFFC), a research organisation, recently unveiled a list of 1,597 war criminals. Of those on the list, 369 are members of Pakistan military, 1,150 are their local collaborators including members of Razakar and Al Badr and Peace Committee, and 78 are Biharis. Jamaat’s former Amir Golam Azam, present chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojahid, Assistant Secretary General Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and AKM Yusuf, central committee members Delawar Hussain Sayedee, Abdus Sobhan, Abul Kalam Muhammad Yusuf and Abdul Quader Molla are among the high-profile Jamaat leaders on the list. Former BNP lawmakers Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Abdul Alim, and Anwar Zahid, a former minister during Ershad rule, are also on the list.

Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 : Rights Corner Attack On Hindus A clarion call

Kishor Dutta

The recent demonic attacks over the hapless Hindus have again unmasked the tragic vulnerability of the god-forsaken minorities in Bangladesh against the pernicious religious zealots. The fanatic vandals galvanised by the concocted story of humiliation of the prophet of Islam, a brain-storming stratagem to provoke the credulous masses, have mercilessly torched the houses, nefariously desecrated the sacred temples and ruthlessly robbed the Hindus of all their belongings. These monstrous incidents are well-calculated sequel of the great Calcutta mayhem and the horrendous carnage of Hindus in Noakhali in 1946,the horrible massacre of Hindus by the atrocious rioters in 1950, 1964, 1965 and the mindless holocaust of Hindus by the Pakistani plunderers in 1971.

Millions of Hindus have been engulfed by the orgy of violence. Neither the politicians, kleptocrat and opportunist, nor the administration, stooges of the Machiavellian coterie, come to their rescue. One captivating example is Fulchand v. Md. Hammad 34 DLR (AD) 361 depicting a poignant story of miscarriage of justice to the riot-hit Hindus swindled by a trickster.

The minority community is the glittering pearl in a statecraft. The striking benchmark of the democratic advancement in a state polity is how the minority community is treated in the state apparatus. The harmonious merging of majority and minority communities can bolster economic advancement and repel communal animosity. The majority will not hold any supercilious attitude towards the minority and the latter will not estrange themselves from amalgamation in the mainstream society. The constitution shall ensure vibrant protection of the minority from majoritarian highhandedness and myriad discriminations.

The Hindu community has immensely contributed to the nascent edifice of the statecraft. The Hindus, harbingers of democratic ideals and preachers of liberalism, were gruesomely massacred, their houses were indiscriminately torched and the Hindu women were raped by the hideous Pakistani military in 1971. With the grisly assassination of Sheikh Mujib, the cronies of Pakistan assumed the statesmanship and reinsulated their divisive dogmas and virulent bigotry in the naive masses. Consequently religious fanaticism carried the day with the rapid polarisation of Hindu community.

Uninterrupted migration of the Hindu community due to pervasive insecurity and majoritarian hooliganism is a recurrent phenomenon. The bigots take resort to every heinous stratagem to demoralise the Hindus. The unabated demographic declination of the Hindus denotes their dwindling socio-economic and political sway in the country. From 1947 up to 1951 the forced out- migration of the Hindus amounted to approximately 2.5 million. The premonition of being kicked out of the motherland incessantly haunts the Hindus.The relative share of Hindu population has nosedived from 18.4 percent of the total population in 1961 to 12.1 percent in 1981, to 10.5 percent in 1991 and to 9.2 percent in 2001 and further down to 8.5 percent in 2011[ Vide- Deprivation of Hindu Minority By Abul Barkat].

Let alone other discriminations,the Hindus are widely discriminated to have access to governmental jobs. From 1975 all the hegemonic governments have debarred the Hindus of their proportional representation in the public services. Recent statistics shows that the representation of the Hindus in the army is less than two percent, one glaring example of the deplorable representations of the Hindus in public services. Numerous meritorious Hindus are deprived of the governmental jobs because of their Hindu identity. In a writ petition the petitioner alleged he was sacked from his job due to his religious identity [Samiran Halder v. Bangladesh 59DLR 410]. The High Court observed that the issue was related to service matters to be decided by administrative tribunals. The Court failed to perceive that the court has jurisdiction to enforce fundamental rights even in service matters [Matiur Rahman v. Bangladesh 50DLR (AD)].

In a society where spirit of moderation is gone, no court can save it and where it flourishes, no court is requisite to safeguard it. Lately house of Lords has upheld the right of the Muslim women to wear hijab [R v. Denbigh High School (2006)]. In another epoch-making verdict the apex court of England has upheld the right of a Sikh to put on turban [Mandla v. Dowell Lee (1983)]. In contrast to this luminous scenario of the enlightened West, the judiciary of Bangladesh has not been able to guarantee the minority of their rights by exorcising the baneful phantom of enemy property laws and myriad discriminations.

The tragic lesson of history is that we learn nothing from history. The people in this country trusted the Muslim League to spearhead their cause which the League backfired. In their abortive mission, they have tried to pervert Islam, radicalise the majority Muslim and destroy the communal harmony. But the censorious masses became rapidly disillusioned of these treacherous tactics to hush up the ignominious deeds of the League which soon found its abode in the realm of oblivion. The facade of present time is that the satanic specter of the Muslim League has again resurrected in the political scene with the vicious goal to talebanise the country. They now advocate the people’s right to democracy which they mutilated in 1971 and the sustenance of Islam which they abuse to defraud the gullible masses.

The Hindu community bearing the pang of partition in 1947 found their resistance into resilience against the formidable foes bedeviling the statecraft. But does it justify the assumption that the Hindus have been cowards to face their nemesis? Have we not intrepidly countered the tumultuous days of 1971? Have we not descended from the victorious Aryans who excelled in literature, war tactics and theosophical monism? Are we not the proud progeny of the great revolutionary Syrya Sen who shook the British imperialistic edifice and the mighty leader Subhas Chandra Bose who piloted the Azad Hind Force to arouse the motherland from the perpetual subjugation? Have we forgotten the luminous precept of fluorescent Geeta that the soul of us cannot be breached, pierced, saturated and burnt? Therefore why is there such decadent lassitude towards those ferocious vandals? Hindus must unite and present a stiff resistance to these plunderers.

The writer is Student of Law, University of Dhaka.

Failure to Protect Pabna Hindus Abu Sayeed blames Tuku

Journalist Abed Khan says attackers belong to AL, BNP and Jamaat; one more held. Former state minister for information Abu Sayeed yesterday accused State Minister for Home Shamsul Hoque Tuku and police for not taking immediate steps to protect Hindus in Bonogram of Pabna’s Santhia upazila.

On November 2, over 100 Hindu houses in Sahapara and Ghoshpara were torched, vandalised and looted after some unidentified people in Bonogram Bazar distributed photocopies of, what they said, a ‘ Facebook page’ where one Rajib Saha maligned Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).

The Hindu schoolboy was framed by extortionists, mostly belonging to the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, after his businessman father Babul Saha refused to pay them. Meanwhile, police arrested a man, accused of instigating the attack, in connection with a case police filed on the night of the attack under the information and communication technology act.

Amimul Ehsan, 40, arrested at Sujanagar upazila’s Bhobanipur village, confessed in preliminary interrogation spreading the photocopies, Assistant Superintendent of Police Abu Bakar Siddique in Pabna informed The Daily Star.

The total number of arrests now stands at 11 centring three cases, one filed by Babul and the two by police. Earlier yesterday, journalist Abed Khan, addressing a press briefing in Pabna Press Club, stated that the attackers belonged to the Awami League, BNP and Jamaat and the attack was not an isolated one but the same as the ones perpetrated on minorities around the country.
Abed was leading a 12-member delegation of eminent citizens, including Dhaka University teachers Rubaet Ferdous and Kaberi Gayen, who visited the affected families.

Sayeed, who also visited the families and was addressing a protest rally organised by Forum 71 in Bonogram Bazar, said Tuku, despite being present in a rally 10 kilometres away from the crime scene, failed to reach the spot on time.

‘ Even police did not rush to the spot immediately. So the criminals dared to loot and vandalise the Hindu residences continuously for around three hours,’ he said.

‘ Criminals easily move with the state minister for home. How can police dare to arrest the criminals?’ Police were yet to arrest the ‘ real culprits’ despite demands by people from all walks of life, said Sayeed.

The cases filed by police ‘ under the directive of a quarter’ accused some 3,000 unnamed only to aid the ‘ business centring arrests’ . Moreover, a person, Binoy Kumar Sarkar, who died 12 years ago, was stated as an eyewitness, he added.

‘ If you (police) are not capable of arresting the real culprits, you may leave. But do not harass innocent people,’ said Sayeed.

He said extortionists had previously beaten a school headmaster of the locality before his pupils. Since the crime and similar ones went unpunished, the perpetrators dared to go on plundering, he said.
Sayeed urged Tuku and police to properly investigate the incident, and arrest the perpetrators and the masterminds. Otherwise the people of Bonogram would never forgive them, he said.

 

 The Daily Star: Friday, November 15, 2013

Kacharipara Village in Kishoreganj Upazila of Nilphamari

Hindus in panic as land grabbers reappear

EAM Asaduzzaman, Nilphamari

People of Hindu community at Dakkhin Bahagli Kacharipara village in Bahagli union under Kishoreganj upazila are passing their days amid panic as a land grabbers’ syndicate is making forged land documents and filing false cases against them to force them to sell land at low prices.
In 2012, Hazi Noor Islam, a non-Bengali merchant of Saidpur municipality, started purchasing land in minority Hindu dominated village, to set up a jute mill, locals said.

Noor contacted with Mizanur Rahman Dulal, alleged leader of a local gang ‘Bojrang group’ to manage land on commission basis and the group comprising around 30 men, many of them accused in murder and mugging cases, started terrorising the unwilling land owners to force selling land at desired prices, they alleged.

Col (Rtd) Maruf Saqlain, local lawmaker from ruling Awami League, said, ‘ To occupy the properties of local Hindus, the grabbers are harassing them by making forged land documents and filing false cases. I have directed the police and local administration to ensure security of the minority community.’

Octogenarian Dhirendranath Roy said early this year he filed a case in court after Bojranj’ group members equipped with lethal weapons came to forcibly occupy his land 82 decimals of land that he had purchased on registered document in year 1972.

‘ Hazi Noor and some Bojang members made a forged document on behalf of Hazi Noor,’ he alleged.

Basudev Roy, 45, a local, said, ‘ To create panic, land grabber syndicate filed 11 cases against members of 30 Hindu families on false charges of road dacoity, mugging, attempt to murder etc and Kishorganj thana police on May 13 arrest me and Pobitra Chandra, 30, and Joti Bhuson Chandra, 35, in a case. The court granted us bail after a week.’

Miscreants set fire to houses of Basudev Roy, Dhirendra and Narayan on May 19 night and Basudev’s wife Bobita Rani lodged a case against ‘Bojrang’ leader Mizanur Rahman Dulal, Zakir Hossain, manager of Hizi Noor, and others in this connection, locals said.

Police is still to submit charge sheet against the accused in the case but submitted charge sheet accusing the Hindus in three cases filed by men of Hazi Noor gong, they said.

Several locals including Asudev, Jintu, Ranjit, Narayan Chandra, Baloram and others said after publication of newspaper reports regarding grabbing of property of Hindus and harassment on them and local lawmaker Col (Rtd) Maruf Saqlain’s interference in the matter the grabbers remained silent for about six months.

‘ But on November 8, Hazi Noor along with ‘Bojrang’ leader Mizanur Rahman Dulal, Hazi Noor’s manager Zakir Hossain, and others again came to occupy their land and Mizanur threatened them with dire consequences when the political situation will change,’ Basudev Roy said.

Contacted, Zakir Hossain said, ‘ We had purchased land according to Hindu inheritance law. I am not aware of ‘Bojrang’ group. I had given Mizanur Rahman Dulal charge of purchasing land, as he is efficient in the work. Two groups of local Hindus are filing cases against each other.’
Mizanur denied his involvement with ‘Bojrang’ group and said, ‘ I never threatened local Hindus.’

Hazi Noor Islam, said, ‘ I wanted to purchase 12 acres of land in the said village to set up a big jute mill and have been able to buy seven acres so far. As dispute occurred regarding ownership of some lands, I filed a civil suit in the court. I must abide by court verdict even if it goes against me.’

The Daily Star: Friday, November 15, 2013

Periscope

Our Men in Sathia

Ahmede Hussain

Secularism, Gangnam Style

There is no denying that classical secularism, born in the womb of European Renaissance with a call for the separation of state and religion, does not exist any more. Like any ideological belief, it has evolved and matured. At the same time, in practice, secularism differs from nation to nation. Ordinary Indians might have flirted with a party that believes in Hindu supremacy, but its democratic institutions have time and again shown its non-communal credentials. The pressure and reach of Christian lobbies in US politics is well known, yet, the country has remained a shining example of an egalitarian society, a country where you can become what you want to be, all you need is hard work and perseverance.

Things are a little different in Bangladesh. It has secularism as a guiding principle, and along with it stands Islam as the state religion. Use of religion in politics is heavy, so much so that the Awami League (AL), the country’s largest secular political party had once promised to legalise fatwa, knowing some might even be in conflict with the country’s secular judicial system. The recent blow has come when the government that it heads has suddenly decided to give approval to private kawmi madrasas certificates, which will make kawmi degrees equivalent to its secular counterpart. The move has clearly been aimed at appeasing some members of Hefazat-e-Islam (HI), which hogged the headlines by holding two mammoth gatherings in Dhaka’s business district last summer.

Strange it may sound, the AL has its fair share in the rise of the HI. The party has on numerous occasions offered the HI inducements, the extent of which has even included some parliamentary seats. It has emboldened the group, which saw it as an example of its growing muscle in the country’s politics.

Recent comments made by some senior AL leaders mean that even though the government has been successful in wiping out religious extremism from the country, religiosity in Bangladesh is increasing rapidly, so much so that the party in power has had to resort to religion (read Islam) to win votes. The Prime Minister in her last few speeches has not forgotten to mention that she is a practising Muslim, her days start with the morning prayers and she diligently recites from the Quran at every crack of dawn. It is indeed true that Sheikh Hasina is religious and seems to be well versed in Islamic jurisprudence. But, invoking Islam in a public meeting is not befitting of the chief of a secular political party, especially when she is the daughter of a great leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that is.

There is no denying the fact that religion gets a strong foothold in politics when politicians use it indiscriminately and a time comes when one fuels the other.
But make no mistake; HI is no Al-Qaeda. Its Hanafi strand of Islam is quite far away from the Salafi interpretation of the religion that works as Osama bin Laden and Co’s ideological backbone. Having said that, Bangladesh badly needs a strong buffer that will stand between the moderate Islam that its citizens practise and violent ideologies. We should never mix half-hearted secularism with election-time Islamism. It helps no-one.

 

Mithus across the Country

It has been front page news last week. The junior minister for Home was seen in his constituency in Sathia with a known criminal who only a few moons ago was allegedly seen attacking Hindus. This is sad.

We know the kind of oppression that the religious minority in this country had to go through during the last BNP’s government’s term in office. We only hoped that under the AL, things would be different. But with a heavy heart we have noticed that things have hardly changed. From the attack on Buddhist temples in Ramu to the incident in Sathia, Pabna, on many such disturbing occasions, AL leaders have allegedly joined hands with its BNP and Jamaat counterparts to attack homes and places of worship of religious minorities. What are we left with, then? Which party will we vote for to keep our Hindu, Buddhist and Christian brothers and sisters safe?

It is true that in most of the cases the attacks are criminals in nature, and they are given a religious flavour to drum up support in favour of such dastardly acts. But when goons like Mithu become ministers’ shadow companion, how and who are we to seek justice?

 

The Daily Star: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stop attacks on Hindus

US calls for govt action

Diplomatic Correspondent

 

The United States expressed deep concern over the recent attacks on Hindus in Pabna and Lalmonirhat and asked the government to take action against the criminals and protect rights of minorities.

In a statement yesterday, the US embassy said, ‘ We call on all those involved in these incidents to desist from abusing the rights of minorities, and ask all parties to ensure they are stopped immediately and the perpetrators are held accountable.

‘ We ask the Government of Bangladesh      to act authoritatively against those          who incited and committed this  violence and protect the rights of minorities.’

The US embassy further said they were also deeply concerned by the deaths, injuries, and ongoing violence associated with hartals.

‘ While engaging in peaceful protest is a fundamental democratic right, we firmly believe violence is never the answer,’ the statement added.

‘ We call on all parties to ensure that their protests are peaceful and we look to the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all its citizens and encourage all Bangladeshis to peacefully express their views,’ said the statement.

 

The Daily Star Published: Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lalmonirhat

Fear of another Jamaat attack haunts Hindus

Our Correspondent, Lalmonirhat

Fears of recurrence of attacks continue to haunt Hindus of Lalmonirhat’s Patgram upazila despite the return of the male family members, the filing of a case and deployment of additional police.
On Thursday, at least 12 women and children were beaten up and at least five shops and two houses were torched and looted allegedly by Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists at Ghoshpara village of Jongra union.

Taking place on the third day of the opposition-sponsored 71-hour blockade, the attack, the second one on Lalmonirhat Hindus by opposition activists, had prompted several male members of at least 23 Hindu families to flee the village.

‘ We are still fearful as the area is covered with Jamaat-Shibir men and they always have a hatred towards Hindus…They will become angrier if police make arrests,’ one of the victims, Shilpi Rani Ghosh, told The Daily Star yesterday.

Nazrul Islam, member of local Union Parishad and former president of Shibir of Patgram upazila, has been arrested while police claimed they were conducting drives to arrest the rest.

Another victim, Subhas Chandra Ghosh, said, ‘ We are innocent people…we are not involved in politics and have no enmity with anybody here over anything but still we were victimised…I do not know what will happen in the future.’

On the previous November 4 assault, the attackers had vandalised and looted several houses after villagers at Satpatki Majhipara in Sadar upazila had refused extortionists.
The case was filed by one victim, Dhanjit Ghosh Tapos, with Patgram Police Station, accusing three local Jamaat-Shibir men and 50 unnamed persons.

Expressing deep concern, Ain o Salish Kendra sent a letter to the Inspector General of Police on Thursday noon urging the perpetrators’ arrest.

 

 

The Daily Star: Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jamaat Atrocity

Hindus, AL men desert homes

Several hundred Hindus and ruling Awami League leaders of Satkhira have been fleeing their homes over the last few days in the wake of massive violence unleashed by Jamaat-Shibir men in the district.Residents of at least eight unions in different upazilas of the district are the worst sufferers of the violence.

Bishwajit Sadhu, district unit president of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Oikya Parishad, said around 200 to 250 solvent Hindu people from affected remote villages had left their homes and taken refuge in the district town, Khulna and the capital. Some had even moved to India through legal or illegal means.He said they were yet to prepare a list of the affected people.

The people of the minority community are fleeing, as their houses came under attacks by Jamaat-Shibir men who have been engaged in clashes with law enforcers since the International Crimes Tribunal awarded death sentence to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee in February.
The situation became worse after the tribunal, set up to deal with crimes against humanity committed during the country’s Liberation War in 1971, had handed down capital punishment to another Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah and after his execution on December 12.

To handle the situation, law enforcement agencies have launched a joint drive in the district from Sunday to restore law and order. However, this has not proved to be enough to remove the security concern among the minority people. Satkhira Superintendent of Police Chowdhury Manjurul Kabir is, however, hopeful that the situation would improve within a few days.

Meanwhile, Shyamol Kumar Ghosal of Agardari village under sadar upazila told The Daily Star, ‘ I am not thinking of returning home as the situation there is still horrible.’
He gave names of at least five Jamaat-Shibir men who had looted and burnt houses and business establishments of Hindus in Agardari union. He said some of the Hindu people had faced attacks twice.

One of the worst victims of the village is Shyamol’s uncle Gopal Chandra Ghosal. His house came under attack immediately after the appeal verdict of war criminal Quader Mollah was delivered on November 26.

Around 60 masked men from nearby villages stormed his house and took away his TV, refrigerator and some furniture, and set those on fire. They also took two motorbikes of the family and set one of them alight and vandalised the other.

The attackers also wanted to slaughter Gopal and one of his grandsons but finally spared them after women of the house begged for mercy. His nephew Shyamol, a lawyer by profession, said many Hindu families had sent their women and children to safe places while a few men stayed back to guard their houses.

Seeking anonymity, many Hindus of Agardari village told The Daily Star that their faith in religious harmony was shaken on the night of December 12, hours after Quader Mollah had been executed.

They said Jamaat-Shibir men had attacked many houses that night. They had also assaulted many Hindu people and vandalised their houses. Subhash Chandra Ghosh, president of Zila Puja Celebration Committee and a former leader of Debhata Muktijuddho Command Council, is also among the worst victims of Jamaat atrocities.

In the morning after Mollah’s execution, around 100 Jamaat-Shibir men set ablaze his two-storey building in Debishahar village. Three of the five brothers of the family used to live there with their wives and children.

The flames gutted everything on the ground floor and partially damaged the belongings on the first floor. Jamaat-Shibir men had also torched three motorcycles, snapped the water-supply line and looted 30 tolas of gold ornaments from the house, said his younger brother Sarat Chandra Ghosh.

He said, ‘ My elder brother [Subhash] and I are now staying in Dhaka while 12 of our family members have taken shelter at our relatives’ houses.’

Narrating the December 13 arson attack by Jamaat-Shibir activists on his house in Kulia village, Debhata upazila parishad chairman and district Awami League leader Golam Mostafa said his 80-year-old mother had implored the attackers not to set the house on fire as Mostafa had done nothing to harm them.

In reply, the attackers told her that they were carrying out the directives of their high-ups.
The activists also vandalised and set on flames the house of Debhata upazila AL president Mujibur Rahman that night.

A large number of ruling party men are living away from their houses fearing attacks on their families. At least 10 AL leaders and activists were killed in the last 30 days.

No less than 70 houses and business establishments of the Hindu community and AL men came under Jamaat-Shibir attacks during this time.

Feroz Ahmed, organising secretary of the district unit AL, said several hundred leaders and activists of the party were hiding fearing attacks.

(Our Satkhira correspondent contributed to the report.)

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/hindus-al-men-desert-homes/

Political Violence: Minorities living in fear Say Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad, Adivasi Forum

Religious minorities and the indigenous people of the country are living in utter fear and uncertainty during the ongoing political violence, said Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad, and Bangladesh Adivasi Forum yesterday. Amidst the din of politics across the country, the communal forces are attacking the minorities, burning their houses, and destroying their temples and properties, they added.
At a press conference held at Jatiya Press Club in the capital, they alleged that the attacks were a part of a conspiracy to drive the minorities out of the country.
‘ While the communal forces are continually attacking the minorities, the state is repeatedly failing to protect them,’ said Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of the parishad.

He regretted that the government had not ensured exemplary punishment for the perpetrators who attacked the minority communities in different areas, including Pabna, Barisal and Lalmonirhat. He also urged the UN, European Union and all the international human rights organisations to save the communities.

The forum General Secretary Sanjeeb Drong said, ‘ Although the present government pledged full implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord in its election manifesto, it has not taken any major steps in this regard so far.’

He also demanded constitutional recognition for the indigenous people. The forum Deputy Secretary General Binotamoy Dhamai and advocates Sunil Ranjan Biswas, PC Guha, Sushanto Basu, Shyamol Roy and Kishore Ranjan were, among others, present at the event. Source.

 

IndiaFacts Staff articles, reports and guest pieces