Published: Friday, May 17, 2013

Attacks on Buddhists

Intelligence, admin failed

States judicial probe report

The failure of the local administration and intelligence and law enforcement agencies was to blame for the attacks on the Buddhist community in Ramu of Cox’s Bazar in September last year, says a judicial probe report.
Sources in the High Court said the probe had found that intelligence failure led to the administration’s inaction as violence flared.
The report, however, has not yet been released.
The probe body, formed on an HC order on March 13, submitted its 300-page report along with 3,000 pages of documents to the registrar of the Supreme Court on Sunday.
The registrar placed it before the High Court bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar yesterday. The bench has fixed May 28 for hearing on the report.
The probe has identified 298 people as responsible for the attacks on Buddhist temples, monasteries and houses in Ramu upazila. It made 20 recommendations that include helping improve the competence and standards of the administration, containing posts on social media and awakening a sense of patriotism in people, added the sources.
The formation of the probe body was ordered in response to a writ petition filed by Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua challenging the report by a probe committee formed by the home ministry.
Barua argued the ministry’s probe did not explain the motive behind the attacks.
Contacted yesterday, he said he would not comment on the new report since he was yet to get a copy of it.
HC sources said the previous probe report had named 205 people as responsible for the attacks. Most of them have been included in the new report.
The Ramu violence was provoked through using a fake Facebook profile of a Buddhist youth named Uttam Kumar Barua. The profile carried a picture demeaning of the Holy Quran.
Weeks later, an investigation by The Daily Star exposed the forged Facebook profile that was used to instigate the hate attacks, as well as the inaction of the local administration and intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
The judicial probe committee is comprised of Md Abdul Quddus Miah; district and sessions judge of Chittagong, Sharif Mostafa Karim, judge of Tribunal-3 for Women and Children Repression Prevention in Chittagong; and Mohammad Zahurul Islam Rohel, deputy home secretary.