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“Arson and attacks of almost all Hindu localities was seen across Bangladesh”

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“There’s no end to the attacks on Hindus,” an India Today anchor told her audience. (Screencap: Indiatoday.in)

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Durga Puja is a very important Hindu festival: “It is as great a festival as Christmas is to the Christians and Passover is to the Jews,” explained Shipan Kumer Basu, who heads the World Hindu Struggle Committee. However, he noted that this Durga Puja was plagued by violence targeting the Hindu community in Bangladesh.

After word spread that a Quran was placed at the foot of Hindu idols in social media, this was followed by a violent mob attacking Hindu temples in other areas in Bangladesh: “It spread through 27 districts in Bangladesh. The violent mob was well organized, armed with sharp weapons and strong sticks. They also ignited fires.”

Following these developments, Basu said: ““It was highly suspicious right from the very beginning that some highly clandestine and shrewd brain was behind this whole anarchy that is still going on. The Hindu minorities in Bangladesh are not so dull headed, as to insult the Quran in a Muslim majority country, where they are always treated as a second-class citizens.”

He implied that this action was staged to cause the mobs to attack the Hindu minority: “The people of the minority community know very well that any such act would inevitably invite retaliation. In the destruction and vandalism spree that followed, hundreds of Hindu houses were destroyed and looted, women were raped, men were killed, temples were broken, and idols were shattered.”

The news channel Sarabangla, ‘sarabangla.net’, reported that 5 Hindu minorities died in these violent attacks. Five women including a 10 year old girl, who later died, were raped. Another five suffered from attempted rapes. Over 400 women were molested. 611 minorities were injured across the country. 31 established Temples were burnt down. Reportedly 994 Pandals (makeshift temples for Puja purposes) were vandalized or set on fire. 31 shops were burnt down.

After protesting these atrocities, 17 minorities were arrested for social media law violations. 11,570 minority families are facing insecurity in the country and almost 380 million Taka (Bangladesh Currency) were lost. 

According to Basu, “Arson and attacks of almost all Hindu localities was seen across Bangladesh. Singling out Hindu shops in the market areas, the violent mob set the shops on fire and looted all the cash and valuables. In between all this inhumane and brutal atrocities, strangely, the government’s administration and the police were silent!  They allowed the anarchists to carry on their rampage right in front of their eyes.” 

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Basu blames the Sheikh Hasina government for this grave atrocity:

“This is not a spontaneous action but a well-defined, calculated modus-operandi from the ruling Sheikh Hasina government. Hasina is the daughter of Bangabandho Sheikh Majibur Rheman who, in his prime, was associated with the Great Calcutta Killings, in the year 1946, with his close family associate Hussain Shaeed Suhrawardy. The Awami League Party in Bangladesh is the brainchild of this man and his daughter is no different. She has made up her mind to make the country Hindu-free. Her government is following all the instructions of Hefazat to do so.”

Her Foreign Minister A.K.Abdul Menon issued a statement stressing that “no such violence happened and all of this is propaganda.” This is the true nature of the Hassina government.

According to Basu, “Awami League Party members and supporters have been actively supporting the rioters, looters, rapists and arsonists. Many known faces have been seen giving hate speeches against the minorities. The hate speeches further infuriated the already charged atmosphere of the country. Awami League Youth leaders were fully active and supportive in the gathering of the violent mobs across the country.”

“This shows that the Hassina administration is working covertly to wipe-out the Hindu minority from her country,” Basu noted. “But, officially she is giving statements protecting the minorities.  She is doing everything to cover-up this entire episode of vandalism and spreading propaganda now that the Hindus are to be blamed for what has happened. Her government is arresting innocent Hindus and framing them with fake cases and putting them in jail.”

In conclusion, Basu stressed: “The time has come to punish the Sheikh Hasina government for her failure to protect Bangladesh’s minorities. The international community must take concrete steps, so that Hindus can continue to live in their homeland.”

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

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