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Friday, March 1, 2013
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Hindus under attack

6 temples, houses burnt outside Dhaka

The charred remains of a house burnt by Jamaat-Shibir men in Noakhali yesterday. Photo: Banglar Chokh

Lashing a déjà vu of 1971, Jamaat-Shibir fanatics yesterday wrecked havoc on the Hindu community across the country.

They damaged at least six temples, including one of Buddhists, and torched houses and business establishments of Hindu people in Noakhali, Gaibandha, Chittagong, Rangpur, Sylhet, Chapainawabganj and elsewhere in the country.

In Rajganj of Noakhali, Jamaat-Shibir men set ablaze a temple and eight houses of the Hindu community.

They also traded bullets with law enforcers in Datterhat under Sadar Police Station and in Rajganj under Begumganj Police Station, leaving two people killed. The deceased were identified as Khokon, 17, a pickup van assistant, and Liton (28), a fish monger, reports our Noakhali correspondent.

The Jamaat-Shibir men also looted a jewellery shop owned by one Biplob Sarkar at Chandraganj Purbo Bazar in Begumganj.

Witnesses and police said hours after top Jamaat leaders Delawar Hossain Sayedee had been sentenced to death, the marauding activists equipped with firearms, iron rods and kerosene set fire to Harishiva temple in Rajganj market area at 3:30pm.

"They returned an hour later. This time we were left with no choice but to flee the area, as they started torching our houses with kerosene," schoolteacher Shankar Chandra, who lost his house in the attack, told The Daily Star over the phone.

Some 50 Hindu people used to live in the houses burnt down, he said, adding that all but a few people had managed to escape to safety. Those left behind had been beaten up and kicked out of their houses by the Jamaat-Shibir attackers.

"We ran for our lives leaving everything behind. I was only seven during the Liberation War in 1971, but it didn't feel this insecure even then," said Shankar Chandra.

During the attack, the Jamaat-Shibir men also threatened newsmen to keep from covering the incident and took away cameras of photojournalists. They also forcefully picked up television crew Mohtasim Billah Sabuj. Locals later rescued Sabuj and took him to safety.

Assistant Police Superintendent (ASP) of Begumganj circle Mahbub Alam told The Daily Star that informed of the arson, police and firefighters had reached Rajganj around 5:00pm. Police had a hard time containing the violence in the area, as Jamaat-Shibir men had outnumbered the law enforcers.

When police tried to bring the situation under control, an exchange of gunshots between the attackers and law enforcers took place. Fish monger Liton died in the incident, said the ASP.

Almost at the same time, another group of Jamaat-Shibir men clashed and traded gunfire with police at Datterhat area leaving Khokon bullet-hit. He was declared dead when taken to Sadar hospital.

CHITTAGONG
Jamaat-Shibir men attacked two Hindu-majority localities at Jaldi union of Banshkhali upazila and set ablaze a Buddhist temple at Satkania upazila of the district yesterday.

They set fire to houses at Dhopapara and Mohajonpara of the union and attacked people with sticks, iron rods and sharp weapons, said Inspector Md Shahjahan of Banshkhali Police Station.

Two people had been critically wounded in the attack, said the inspector, adding that the injured had been undergoing treatment at upazila health complex.

Jamaat-Shibir men also set ablaze three shops belonging to Hindu people at Kaliaish union of Satkania upazila, said Additional Superintendent (South) Md Iltutmish of Chittagong Metropolitan Police.

GAIBANDHA
Rioters of Jamaat-e-Islami and student body Islamic Chhatra Shibir attacked a temple and business establishments belonging to Hindus at Bhelkobazar in Sundarganj upazila of the district yesterday afternoon.

Later in the evening, they swooped on and vandalised some houses in Shovaganj union.

Meanwhile, Hindu community leaders last night told The Daily Star that vandalism, arson and looting took place in temples, houses and business establishments of Hindu people in Sylhet, Rangpur, Thakurgaon, Laxmipur and Chapainawabganj.

According to them, attackers had vandalised the central Kali temple at Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur and another at Kansat in Chapainawabganj.

"We are observing the situation. So far we have heard they had attacked and vandalised temples, houses and business establishments of Hindu people at least in 10 districts," said Nirmal Chatterjee, secretary general of Dhaka Mahanagar Puja Committee.

"We have informed law enforcers of the situation and sought security to the Hindu community," he added.

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I am feeling So sad. Why Hindus? Are we not Bangladeshi?

: Shmita uma

Protecting minorities, their places of worship and properties are the religious responsibility of a true Muslim. Those who do otherwise are acting against Islam and the very cause the religion stands for.

: An Observer

Comments

  • Preomoyie
    Friday, March 1, 2013 12:37 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    Why always Hindus are the main target in Bangladesh? Where is the PM now?

  • JD
    Friday, March 1, 2013 12:57 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    I write this with all the affection and good wishes to the Bangali youth who are spearheading the agitation for punishment for the perpetrators of 1971 rape and carnage by the Razakars. I am glad that my grand parents moved to India in 1960s even when it broke their hearts to live their motherland.

  • Rashid Ahmed
    Friday, March 1, 2013 03:53 PM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    Hindus are minority in Bangladesh and Jaamat-Shibir knows it well that they are not their political counterpart. Hindus never created any problem in Bangladesh for any political party. Like any other political party, Jamaat-Shibir wants to win majority in the next election. They know it well that burning national flag, vandalizing shaheed minar and attacking temples of Hindus will only bring negative scores for them in the next election. This certainly Jamaat do not want. Jaamat is not that stupid to stab themselves and commit political suicide by acting against popular sentiments of our people. They also know it well that Pakistanis will not come to Bangladesh and vote them to win. They have to win through popular votes of Bangladeshis. Then who is committing these atrocities and under whose instruction?

    However, Awami League often tries to say this to the people that Jamaat is surviving in Bangladesh with the blessings of Pakistani people. Then all those people who had been killed in the Jamaat protests yesterday are all should be Pakistanis. Our Prime Minister might say this too that after investigation it was found that all those protesters who were killed in police actions were all Pakistani citizen.

    Power hungry monsters! Please do not commit these atrocities on poor innocent minorities to divert people’s wrath on to others to achieve your own vested interest.

    I do not know how long God will tolerate this injustice on minority people.

  • Hannan Chowdury
    Friday, March 1, 2013 01:22 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    This is non-sense.

  • Zaman Rahman
    Friday, March 1, 2013 03:16 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    Now why the minority community is being attacked? Is it all because of the government's blind support towards the Shahbagh protesters which is annoying the Jamaat. The Hindu community should realize that they are desperate and have no other way of showing their anger over the verdict. The government should take all precautionary measures to prevent these sort of incidents from taking place.

  • Khaleda Alam from Canada
    Friday, March 1, 2013 03:33 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    In which para in Quran said that if Jamaat Shibir leaders going to hang for their crime than the followers of Jamaat Shibir will burn the house and temples of Hindu? According to the situation now it is big responsibilities of the govt.

  • Manzoor Ashraf
    Friday, March 1, 2013 04:16 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    These are crimes and perpetrators must be nabbed and punished by the courts since we are a nation of law abiding calm people.

  • Barkat
    Friday, March 1, 2013 04:40 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    It seems that your news paper is bent on prejudice. What makes your staff reporter so confirm that these crime was committed by Jamaat Shibbir. Now any one can attack minorities and the blame will be labeled on Jamaat Shibbir. This prejudice and preempt attempt to completely tarnish the image and repute of Jamaat. These attempts will set a set a dangerous motion and the nation will pay a heavy price for such miss deed. At this crucial time what is most needed is calm and patience not just from the Jamaat Shibbir but also from those who oppose them

  • Babul
    Friday, March 1, 2013 10:06 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    Shame!!!

  • SM Abdul Haque
    Friday, March 1, 2013 10:45 AM GMT+06:00 (59 weeks ago)

    Jamat Sibir 's show their character again. Need to be rooted out. BNP should discard Jamat from their alliance right now.


 

 


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