Friday, 30 December 2016

98 Hindus killed, 357 injured in 2016 in Bangladesh, says report

PTI | Last Updated: Friday, December 30, 2016 - 21:22

Dhaka: According to a report made by Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mohajote (BJHM), at least 98 people from the Hindu community have been murdered and 357 others injured across the country till December 29 this year.

Revealing the report at a press conference held in Dhaka Reporters` Unity today, BJHM executive president Sukrtity Mandal said the report was prepared based on reports published in different newspapers and their community sources, reports the Dhaka Tribune.
The BJHM president also said that around 711 people either left the country or were threatened to leave the country, while 209 idols were damaged and 22 others were stolen.
He further said 22 people of their community have also been missing while 38 people were kidnapped and eight others are in jail.
According to United News of Bangladesh (UNB), 1,109 Hindus received death threat and attempts were made to kill 18 others during the said period.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

20 houses of Hindus set on fire in Banglade

Biplob Ghosal | Last Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2016 - 17:24

Dhaka: At least 20 houses of Hindus were set on fire in Bochaganj upazila of Dinajpur in Bangladesh early Saturday.
A report published in The Daily Star said that houses of seven families of Hindus were set on fire in Railway Colony.
Fortunately, no one was injured as residents managed to escape on time.
A person named Jewel was held by the locals, who allegedly set the fire.
The residents claimed that Jewel had been threatening them ever since a scuffle broke out during Durga Puja celebrations earlier this year.
In October this year, at least 15 Hindu temples in Bangladesh were vandalised over allegations of disrespect shown to Islam on Facebook, triggering panic among the minority community in the Muslim-majority nation.
Temples in Brahmanbarhia district's Nasirnagar were vandalised on besides over 100 houses of Hindus in the area have also been looted.
Temples in adjacent Habiganj's Madhabpur also came under attack.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Mayhem in Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh

12:00 AM, October 31, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:24 AM, October 31, 2016

The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Mayhem in B'baria

Around a hundred houses, 5 Hindu temples vandalised, dozens injured in attack by religious zealots over a Facebook post

A group of religious zealots yesterday carried out a synchronised attack on the Hindus in Brahmanbaria's Nasirnagar upazila, vandalising around 100 homes and at least five temples and looting valuables over a Facebook post “hurting Muslims' sentiment,” victims and police said.
The attackers also beat up over 100 people of the minority community.

The nearly two-hour long attack began around 12:00pm before police brought the situation under control after 2:00pm.

The attackers ran amok through eight Hindu localities, including Kashipara, Daspara, Ghoshpara, Duttapara and Nomoshudropara, said Abdul Quader, officer-in-charge of Nasirnagar Police Station.

“Around 150 to 200 locals attacked five temples in Nasirnagar upazila and vandalised seven to eight idols. They also vandalised homes and injured two people,” Brahmanbaria Superintendent of Police Mizanur Rahman told The Daily Star.

One of the vandalised Hindu temples and a home in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria. Photo: Collected

Police detained six people from the spot and were trying to arrest the other attackers, he said.
As the news of the Facebook post spread, violence spilled over to the neighbouring Habiganj district where a Hindu temple in Madhabpur bus stand area came under attack.

There, the attackers vandalised a Kali idol when devotees were worshipping at the temple for Dewali.
On information, local UP Chairman Ali Ahmed rushed to the spot and called the police.

Muktadir Hossain, OC of Madhabpur Police Station, said they were trying to arrest the culprits.
Earlier in the morning, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, an Islamic group, held a rally protesting the Facebook post in Sadar Upazila, a quarter kilometre from where the attack happened.

Some locals blamed the protesters for the attack, which the rally organisers denied. They blamed some “criminals” from Nurpur village for the incident.

“A group of Hefajat-e Islam men attacked the Hindu community and vandalised their homes and temples when we were holding a peaceful rally. Islam is a peaceful religion. It never supports any clash. We demand trial of the attackers,” said Riazul Karim, convener of Nasirnagar unit of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.

Contacted, Fazlul Karim Kasemi, joint secretary general of Hefajat-e Islam's Dhaka city unit, described the allegation as completely false and baseless.

It all began with a Facebook post purportedly from the account of Rasraj Das, 27, of an edited photograph that shows an idol of Hindu God Shib on the picture of Kaba.

Later, locals caught the youth and handed him over to the police on Saturday noon. Police filed a case against him.

Earlier on Saturday morning, Rasraj in a Facebook post said he had nothing to do with the photo and offered an apology.

“At first, I am apologising to Muslim brothers because someone has posted a photograph from my account without my knowledge. When I came to know yesterday night [Friday] from Mamun bhai, Ashu bhai and Bipul about it, I deleted it immediately,” he said in the post.

“Here we live side by side as Hindu-Muslim brothers, and I have no such mentality and, of course, I don't have such impudent courage. Why should I? I think no one has that mentality and no one should. Besides, our Muslim brothers provide all-out support for our different programmes … I don't know how such a photograph was posted and who did this. So, I am apologising to all,” the post added.

People armed with sticks and sharp weapons at College Mor in Nasirnagar. A rally was held there to protest a Facebook post allegedly demeaning Islam. At least five Hindu temples and about 100 homes were vandalised just 250 metres away. Photo: Collected

Interestingly, Rasraj is from Haripur Union, about 12km from the place of the attack.
It was not immediately clear if someone faked his Facebook post.

In a similar incident, religious fundamentalists attacked the Buddhists community in Cox's Bazar's Ramu in September 2012, claiming that a Buddhist youth insulted Islam on the Facebook.

An investigation by The Daily Star later found the Facebook post was faked to justify the attack. 
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad described yesterday's attack in Brahmanbaria and Habiganj as a “massive communal violence” and demanded immediate trial of the attackers.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

American atheist blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

Protests in Dhaka after Avijit Roy, whose blog championed liberal secular writing in the Muslim-majority nation, was attacked along with his wife.

Bangladeshi secular activists take part in a torch-lit protest against the killing of Avijit Roy. Photograph: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images
A prominent American blogger of Bangladeshi origin has been hacked to death with machetes by unidentified assailants in Dhaka, after he allegedly received threats from Islamists.

The body of Avijit Roy, founder of the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site – which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim-majority nation – was found covered in blood after an attack that also left his wife critically wounded.

“He died as he was brought to the hospital. His wife was also seriously wounded. She has lost a finger,” local police chief Sirajul Islam said.

The couple were on a bicycle rickshaw, returning from a book fair, when two assailants stopped and dragged them on to the pavement before striking them with machetes, local media reported, citing witnesses.

Hundreds of protesters rallied in Dhaka to denounce the murder, chanting slogans including “we want justice” and “raise your voice against militants”.

Imran Sarker, the head of the Bangladesh bloggers’ association, said the protests would continue until those responsible were apprehended. “Avijit’s killing once again proved that there is a culture of impunity in the country,” Sarker told Agence France-Presse. “The government must arrest the killers in 24 hours or face non-stop protests.”

Roy, who was 42, is the second Bangladeshi blogger to have been murdered in two years and the fourth writer to have been attacked since 2004.

Hardline Islamist groups have long demanded the public killing of atheist bloggers and sought new laws to deal with writing critical of Islam.

“Roy suffered fatal wounds in the head and died from bleeding ... after being brought to the hospital,” Dr Sohel Ahmed told reporters.

Avijit Roy’s wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, is carried on a stretcher after being seriously injured by unidentified assailants. Roy founded a blog site which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim majority nation. Photograph: Rajib Dhar/AFP/Getty Images
Police have launched an inquiry and recovered the machetes used in the attack but could not confirm whether Islamists were behind the incident.

But Roy’s father said the writer, a US citizen, had received a number of “threatening” emails and messages on social media from hardliners unhappy with his writing. “He was a secular humanist and has written about 10 books,” Ajoy Roy told AFP.His most famous work was Biswasher Virus (Virus of Faith).

The Center for Inquiry, a US-based charity promoting free thought, said it was “shocked and heartbroken” by the brutal murder. “Dr Roy was a true ally, a courageous and eloquent defender of reason, science, and free expression, in a country where those values have been under heavy attack,” it said in a statement.

Social activists, bloggers and writers attend a protest demanding the arrest of Avijit Roy’s killer. Photograph: Shariful Islam/Xinhua Press/Corbis
Roy’s killing also triggered strong condemnation from his fellow writers and publishers, who lamented the growing religious conservatism and intolerance in Bangladesh.

“The attack on Roy and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, is outrageous. We strongly protest this attack and are deeply concerned about the safety of writers,” said Sarker.

Pinaki Bhattacharya, a fellow blogger and friend of Roy, claimed one of the country’s largest online book retailers was being openly threatened for selling Roy’s books.

“In Bangladesh the easiest target is an atheist. An atheist can be attacked and murdered,” he wrote on Facebook.

A man cleans up blood at the site where Avijit Roy was killed. Photograph: Shariful Islam/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death in 2013 by members of a little-known Islamist militant group, triggering nationwide protests by tens of thousands of secular activists.

“The pattern of the killing appeared to be the same as that of previous attack on a celebrated writer,” said Shiblee Noman, assistant commissioner of Dhaka police. “It seems it was carried out by a reactionary fundamentalist group.”

After Haider’s death, Bangladesh’s hardline Islamist groups started to protest against other campaigning bloggers, calling a series of nationwide strikes to demand their deaths, accusing them of blasphemy.

The secular government of the Bangladeshi prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, reacted by arresting some atheist bloggers.

The government also blocked about a dozen websites and blogs to stem the furore over blasphemy, as well as stepping up security for the bloggers.

On Friday Sarker said: “Communal and militant groups have threatened the very spirit of our nation. Yet instead of crushing them, the government was keen on appeasing them by arresting secular bloggers.”

Noman said police were investigating a tweet by the pro-Islamist group Ansar Bangla Seven that appeared to celebrate Roy’s murder.

“Target Down here in Bangladesh,” the group tweeted from the @AnsarBn7 handle.

The US embassy to Bangladesh offered its condolences to Roy’s family and said it was providing consular assistance. Roy’s wife, who is also a blogger, was moved to a clinic for further treatment on Friday.

Bangladesh is the world’s fourth-largest Muslim majority nation with Muslims making up some 90 per cent of the country’s 160 million people.

A tribunal has recently handed down a series of verdicts against leading Islamists and others for crimes committed during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hindu family comes under attack in Lalmonirhat, Bangladesh, 4 hurt

Four people including two women were stabbed when supporters of a Jamaat-e-Islami activist attacked the house of a Hindu family in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat this morning.

They also set the house on fire during the attack, which was made in a bid to grab the land, reports our Lalmonirhat correspondent quoting police.

Later, police arrested two people for their involvement in the attack and land grabbing.

At least 25 miscreants led by Abul Hossain stormed into the house of one Pushpa Rani Sen at Shafirhat village around 9:30am for grabbing her two bighas of land, said Amiruzzaman, officer-in-charge of Patgram Police Station.

Being resisted by the family members, the criminals torched their house and also stabbed four family members including Pushpa, the OC added.

But locals rushed to the spot and extinguished the fire, he added.

The attackers left the scene before police reached there.

The injured — Pushpa, 68, and her two sons Shyamol Chandra Sen, 45, and Kamol Chandra Sen, 38, and Shyamol’s wife Dipali Rani Sen, 30, were rushed to Patgram Upazila Health Complex.

Pushpa filed a case after Abul Hossain and his three brothers occupied the land of Pushpa, widow of Debendra Nath Sen, showing fake documents two decades back.

After a court delivered its verdict in favour of Pushpa on September 4 in 2012, the Hindu family started living there.

Today, Abul Hossain went there again to grab the land, the OC said.

Source: The Daily Star