Saturday, 24 May 2014

Attacks to grab Hindu properties rising in Bangladesh

On May 11, 2014, a team comprising almost 200 radical Muslim youths led by Bajlur Rahman Nayeem, local leader of Awami League at Niyamatpur sub-district within the district of Naogaon in Bangladesh, assailed a temple of the minority Hindu community located beside the crematorium there. It has been learnt, radicals came in motorbikes and also on foot and within a few minutes both temple and hallowed deity within it were defiled, destroyed and also razed to the ground sending a shudder of fear among Hindus living in the adjoining villages of Maharajpur, Kochpara, Kutubpur and Manpur. The Shiva temple was built up only a few months back and Kirtan used to happen in the temple premises daily in the evening. The attack took place while Hindus were preparing for Kirtan. The attack, as found later on, was an aggression to grab the Hindu property.
As part of the attack, a few Hindus including Dayal Chandra Seal, Dwijen Chabdra Barman and Naren Karmakar were beaten mercilessly and they had to flee as a result. When asked, Kamal Chandra Barman, Matarirani Barman, Jabarani Barman, Sundarirani Karmakar living in the villages of Kochpara and Maharajpur, expressed their horror. While they were talking to press, their in-laws were found to ask them not to utter a single word. What will happen if Hindus lose the crematorium to viciousness of Nayeem? Hindus have no other option if it is lost. Lal Bahadu Seal, priest in the temple, while speaking, termed the Islamic approach as a cruel endeavor to suppress Hindu tribal people in the locality. Minority Hindus in the area have been using the crematorium for centuries. Abdul Mannan, local member of the council, termed Hindus as legal owners of the entire property and that the act was not only derogatory but brought dishonor for the whole of Bangladesh also. Abul Kalam Azad, general secretary of sub-district committee of Awami League, said that the entire development had disturbed the party in the district and local police and administration was instructed to adopt all measures to detain culprits. He also made it clear that Awami League had no relation to it.
Obaidul Haque, officer-in-charge of Niymatpur police station, went to the spot and investigated the incident. Sajjadul Hussain (UNO) also visited the spot. But Hindus feel that Bajlur Rahman Nayeem wouldn’t have dared to attack had not he been supported by radical Muslims.
Such attacks to grab minority Hindu properties are getting common ever more throughout Bangladesh. On March 4, 2014, the residence and adjoining property of Dhirendranath Dey, minority Hindu individual living in No. 7 Ward of Kodial Municipality in the district of Barisal, was grabbed by a group of radical Muslims forcibly. The entire property is worth 25 crore taka and the Hindu family, as a result, has turned into mere paupers.
On April 6, 2014, a group radical Muslims unleashed a ferocious attack on the Hindu hermitage of Sukdeb Goswami located in the village of Mandra within the sub-district of Kotalipara in the district of Gopalgunj. The sole intent was to get hold of the hermitage’s property and hence, the attack took place when Hindu religious rituals were in full swing. Even if Islamists failed to gain anything or terrorize Hindus en masse, 30 Hindus got injured highly. They were taken to the local health centre for treatment.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

200-Year-Old Kali Temple Torched: Hindus and Buddhists continue to be targeted in Bangladesh

The Daily Star, 20 April 2013

Unidentified criminals set a 200-year-old Hindu temple ablaze at Rajoir upazila in Madaripur in the wee hours [of April 19th].

Police and locals said miscreants torched the Kali Mandir at Mahendradi village sometime after midnight.
Dadon Kanta, chairman of Haridashdi-Mahendradi upazila, suspects that Jamaat or BNP men are behind the attack.

Police, meanwhile, arrested Haridashdi-Mahendradi union unit BNP President Abul Kalam Azad yesterday afternoon suspecting his involvement in the incident.

Mofazzal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Rajoir Police Station, said they were yet to identify the attackers and that they were investigating the incident.

Uttam Banerjee, president of the temple managing committee, said locals rushed to the spot on seeing the flames but the temple had been badly burnt before they could bring the flames under control.

In December last year, miscreants vandalised some idols of the same temple, he added.

Temples of the Hindus in several districts came under attacks in the past few months.

Mahmuda Begum, a housewife who lives next to the temple, said they saw the temple on fire around 3:00 am and began to scream.

Harinath Bhattachariya, whose ancestors had donated the land for building the temple, said they were upset to see repeated attacks on the temple.

Mohadev Mridha, another villager, said, “My father and grandfather used to offer prayers at the 200-year-old temple that burnt down before our eyes.

Nasirul Islam, additional superintendent of police in Madaripur, visited the spot and said law enforcers were gathering information and were trying to catch the culprits.