Published: Friday, March 8, 2013

Temples still under attack

HC asks govt to arrest culprits

Fanatics destroyed an idol of goddess Kali before setting a Hindu temple on fire at Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat in the early hours yesterday.
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 the Hindus 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.
Since 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.
HC DIRECTIVE
The High Court yesterday ordered the government to arrest culprits, who vandalised and 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 at Goalimandra 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 the minority 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.