CM – Violence in Bangladesh Durga Puja: Vandalism continues, minorities call for hunger strikes

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Hindu-owned temples and shops in Feni, some 157 km from the country’s capital, were destroyed and robbed in renewed clashes on Saturday.

Published: October 18, 2021 10:36 AM |

Last updated: October 18, 2021 10:36 a.m.

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Police clash with Muslim believers outside the country’s Baitul Mukarram mosque in Dhaka during a protest against an alleged insult to Islam. (Photo | AP)

DHAKA: A Hindu temple in Bangladesh was destroyed in a recent case of communal unrest amid days of violence unleashed by unidentified Muslim fanatics who visited the places of worship during the Durga puja celebrations Minority community attacked for alleged blasphemy, prompting a minority group to go on a nationwide hunger strike, media reports said on Sunday.

Hindu-owned temples and shops in Feni, about 157 km from the country’s capital, were held again Clashes destroyed and looted on Saturday that broke out after an attack on protesters protesting the attacks on the Durga Puja venues in several locations in Bangladesh, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

It is said that at least 40 People were injured, including senior officer Nizamuddin of the Feni Model Police Station.

On Saturday In the evening the authorities deployed additional police and paramilitary forces – Bangladeshi Border Guard (BGB), after several temples and shops owned by Hindus were destroyed and robbed in clashes that lasted from 4.30 p.m. (local time) to midnight. the report said.

The report says that some villains willfully destroyed six idols in the Daniapara Maha Shoshan Kali Mandir in the Sirajdikhan upazila Rashunia association in Munshiganj, about 40 km from here, on Saturday. Protests against attacks and vandalism on Hindu temples during the Durga Puja celebrations continued across the country on Saturday, as did the vandalism that led to public outcry.

The Hindu announced in the country’s southeastern port city of Chittagong -Buddhist Unity Council of Bangladesh held a sit-in and hunger strike from October 23 to protest the attacks during the Durga puja celebrations.

The protests will be held in Dhakas Shahbagh and Chittagong’s Andarkilla, said the Secretary General of the Council, Rana Dasgupta, at a press conference at the Chittagong Press Club. Prior to the announcement, the forum observed a six-hour strike in Chittagong on Saturday.

The Parishad Puja Udjapan in Bangladesh has called for exemplary sentences for those involved in the rampant vandalism, violence and chaos during the Durga Puja celebrations . Milan Kanti Dutta, president of the forum, said they would start a tougher movement if the government did not obey their demand. « From the interior minister to the general secretary of the ruling party Obaidul Quader, everyone has assured us that they are above all else If you know everything, why not punish the guilty?  » he asked.

Charu Chandra Das Brahmachari, Secretary General of ISKCON Bangladesh, warned that the community would not sit still and watch the attacks. « We believe that a group of fundamentalists instigate such hatred to disrupt religious harmony. We also know that some ruling party activists in some places have been linked to such heinous crimes. I urge the Prime Minister not to be weak and take action.  » also against them, « he said.

Those in charge of the forum also called for the passage of a protection law and a national minority council.

Meanwhile, the Blue Panel teachers at Dhaka University, supported by the ruling Awami League, condemned Dhaka University on Sunday vandalism at several Durga puja events and idols in various locations across the country.

The Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Saturday blamed the opposition for the violence and blamed the Nationalist Party of Bangladesh ( BNP) responsible for the construction of violence.

« BNP-Jamaat is involved in local agitation. The BNP Jamaat has chosen the path of various conspiracies by not dealing politically with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Comilla incident has a political motive that has sparked community outrage across the country. «  » Said the minister.

Mahmud said those who devastate temples and attack law enforcement officers will be identified by CCTV footage. The masterminds of the violence will also be brought to justice, he added.

The Durga Puja celebrations in Bangladesh on Friday ended amid days of community unrest and violence over alleged blasphemy, which more than half resulted in the use of paramilitary forces of the counties.

The Bangladesh Paramilitary Border Guard (BGB) has expanded the vigil from 22 to 34 counties out of 64. The Elite Anti-Crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said it was expecting some of the main culprits of the sporadic violence that took place over the past three days.

So far, clashes between Muslim fanatics and the police in Hajiganj subdistrict in the center of to kill five people and injure numerous others in Chandpur on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. Anyone who was involved in the attacks on Hindu temples and Durga puja events in Comilla will not be spared.

“The incidents in Comilla are being thoroughly investigated. Nobody is spared. It doesn’t matter which religion they belong to. National temple in Dhaka on the occasion of Durga Puja.

The violence was after an alleged blasphemy incident in a Durga Puja pavilion in Cumilla on the border with Chandpur and about 100 km from Dhaka Sporadic clashes between police and fanatics continued on Friday, while right-wing Islamic Shashon Tantra Andolon held a large procession in the Purana Paltan area of ​​downtown Dhaka on Saturday to protest against the to protest what they called the « humiliation of the » Holy Quran « .

The Durga Puja celebrations, considered the largest festival of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh, ended without the traditional Bijoya Dashami procession. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the procession was not held this year. This year, Durga Puja began on October 11th.

Hindu devotees paid tribute to the goddess Durga for four days and immersed the idols in rivers on the fifth and last day of Friday. This year, Durga Puja was celebrated in 32,118 puja pavilions across the country, including 238 in the capital Dhaka, the report said.

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