Bangladesh fails to protect temples, Hindus under siege

Paush Shuklapaksha 11, Kaliyug Varsha 5115

The post-poll violence in Bangladesh against the Hindu minority continued despite appeals of peace from both Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The modesty of the women and deities in temples alike has been outraged. Two married women of one Hindu family were reportedly raped in Monirampur Upazila (sub-district) of Jessore district in Bangladesh. A bunch of armed miscreants barged into this house in Rishipara locality in the dead of night between January7-8. The intruders wore masks. They reportedly questioned why they have cast their votes despite a caveat by the Opposition which boycotted the election. The two women, sisters-in-law, tried to reason that they had not voted in the election. There was no indelible ink mark on their fingers. But the miscreants refused to believe them and raped them at gun point. Rishipara is a locality populated by weaker section of the Hindus. Some of them are cobblers, whereas, others make basket. “The victims and neighbours were terrified to report the incident. However, they decided to report the crime after the Police assured them support”, Prothom Alo, a leading Bengali daily published from Dhaka, reported on Saturday.

In Trishal Upazila of Mymensingh district, the Govind Dayal temple was torched by miscreants on the night of January 7. Four cocktail bombs were also lobbed there. The local residents in the area rushed out in time to douse the fire. Only a harmonium used for singing Bhajans and a carpet were gutted. In Battala village, Kalamakanda Upazila of Netrokona, a Kali temple was torched by the hooligans. The deity was damaged due to the fire in a copycat effect of violence against the Hindu minority in Mathbaria Upazilla of Pirojpur district. The incident was allegedly over a third party’s interference in a land deal.

On the night of January 8, two temples viz. Radha Govind ji temple and Jilbunia Sarbojonin Kali temple were destroyed in Morelganj Upazila of Bagerhat district. In Nandigram of Bogra district, another Kali temple was set on fire.

Meanwhile, the acts of violence against the Hindu minority have received wide condemnation from civil society groups. Both Awami League and BNP have deplored the attacks. The Government is contemplating the formation of the tribunals to fast track the cases of violence against the minorities. However, very few cases of violence against Hindus during the 2001 polls have been investigated. The Awami League had not clearly walked its talk on secularism during its years in power. The tribunal idea is being floated in the face of flak it has drawn from the international community over an unconvincing election.

Source: Niti Central

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