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Monday, May 10, 2010

URGENT APPEAL: Hindu Minority under attack in Bangladesh

Source: GHRD

This is an urgent appeal from GHRD.



10th May 2010,

The Hague, The Netherlands

URGENT APPEAL: Bangladesh: Hindu community attacked, physically assaulted and deprived from its property; alleged involvement of a member of the Bangladeshi Army. [UA-BA-10-05-2010]

ISSUES: Physical assault against minority members, including children; property violation and theft.

Dear Friends,

Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) is investigating another attack against the Hindu community in the Manikgonj District, where at least twelve people were physically assaulted during a property violation attempt. According to GHRD sources, the main perpetrator holds a post in the Bangladeshi Army, posted at the Jessore Cantonment.

CASE DETAILS:

The incident occurred on the 30th April 2010 in a Hindu village at Baguli, of the Manikgonj district. It is reported that the attack took place as a result of a property violation attempt, during which the perpetrators illegally confiscated crops from local Hindu owners.

Thirteen identified and armed perpetrators, reportedly lead by a member of the National Army, entered the Hindu property around 7 a.m. on 30th April 2010 and started pillaging agrarian produce. When the owners made an effort to protect their property, the perpetrators attacked them with sharp weapons, causing serious physical injuries. Some Muslims who tried to help their Hindu neighbours, were also physically assaulted. At least four victims were taken to hospital, one in a critical condition. One of the villagers filed a complaint against the thirteen perpetrators at Doulatpur police station on 1st May 2010.

A First Information Report (FIR) was filed at Doulatpur police station on 1st May 2010 under sections143/447/323/325/326/307/379/114/506 (ii) of the Penal code. After the lodging of the complaint, some of the perpetrators surrendered before the Chief Judicial Magistrate-Manikgonj and got a relief. Subsequently, the perpetrators once again intimidated the victims and ordered them to leave the country immediately.

GHRD started the investigation on the 8th May 2010 and has visited the location of the incident and took statements from the victims. More than 100 witnesses, both Hindus and Muslims, confirmed the incident. According to their statements, the perpetrators are violent and constitute a threat to the local community and must be immediately brought to justice.

To this moment none of the perpetrators have been arrested. GHRD has collected FIR's, photographs, medical reports and additional documentation verifiying the violent incidents. A lawyer has also been engaged. GHRD will continue to monitor the case.

GHRD notes with concern that violence against minorities and intolerance persist in Bangladesh. In only a month, this is the third attack against Hindus that GHRD has investigated, which occurred as a result of a property violation.

On the 20th and 26th March 2010 at least 15 perpetrators illegally entered ponds, property of Hindus and stole fish, which is a main source of income for the locals. One of the victims was physically assaulted. According to information gathered by GHRD, a police officer is involved in the unlawful acts. Furthermore, between 25th February and 3rd April 2010 the property of over 21 Hindus was violated and their houses were occupied by perpetrators, belonging to the Muslim population. Notably, in all three cases there are allegations for police negligence or even collaboration with the wrongdoers.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

In light of the above, GHRD strongly urges the local police authorities to conduct a proper investigation into this case, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The allegation of involvement of a member of the Bangladeshi Army is particularly worrying and GHRD urges upon the local authorities to undertake all legal measures required in this case in order to establish the facts and identify the perpetrators. The victims must receive necessary legal assistance and adequate compensation for the damages caused, and their safety and wellbeing must be guranteed during the entire process.

We trust that immidate action shall be taken in this regard.

Thank you,


In order to help, please print the following sample letter and send it to the relevant authorities found below.



Sample letter:

Dear ___________,

I am deeply concerned with the news received from Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) regarding another attack against the Hindu community in the Manikgonj District, where at least twelve people were physically assaulted during a property violation attempt. According to GHRD sources, the main perpetrator holds a post in the Bangladeshi Army, posted at the Jessore Cantonment.


I am told that the incident occurred on the 30th April 2010 in a Hindu village at Baguli, of the Manikgonj district. It is reported that the attack took place as a result of a property violation attempt, during which the perpetrators illegally confiscated crops from local Hindu owners.

GHRD reports that thirteen identified and armed perpetrators, reportedly lead by a member of the National Army, entered the Hindu property around 7 a.m. on 30th April 2010 and started pillaging agrarian produce. When the owners made an effort to protect their property, the perpetrators attacked them with sharp weapons, causing serious physical injuries. Some Muslims who tried to help their Hindu neighbours, were also physically assaulted. At least four victims were taken to hospital, one in a critical condition. One of the villagers filed a complaint against the thirteen perpetrators at Doulatpur police station on 1st May 2010.

I am also informed that a First Information Report (FIR) was filed at Doulatpur police station on 1st May 2010 under sections143/447/323/325/326/307/379/114/506 (ii) of the Penal code. After the lodging of the complaint, some of the perpetrators surrendered before the Chief Judicial Magistrate-Manikgonj and got a relief. Subsequently, the perpetrators once again intimidated the victims and ordered them to leave the country immediately.

GHRD started the investigation on the 8th May 2010 and has visited the location of the incident and took statements from the victims. More than 100 witnesses, both Hindus and Muslims, confirmed the incident. According to their statements, the perpetrators are violent and constitute a threat to the local community and must be immediately brought to justice.

To this moment none of the perpetrators have been arrested. GHRD has collected FIR's, photographs, medical reports and additional documentation verifiying the violent incidents. A lawyer has also been engaged. GHRD will continue to monitor the case.

GHRD notes with concern that violence against minorities and intolerance persist in Bangladesh. In only a month, this is the third attack against Hindus that GHRD has investigated, which occurred as a result of a property violation.

Additionally, I was informed by GHRD that on the 20th and 26th March 2010 at least 15 perpetrators illegally entered ponds, property of Hindus and stole fish, which is a main source of income for the locals. One of the victims was physically assaulted. According to information gathered by GHRD, a police officer is involved in the unlawful acts. Furthermore, between 25th February and 3rd April 2010 the property of over 21 Hindus was violated and their houses were occupied by perpetrators, belonging to the Muslim population. Notably, in all three cases there are allegations for police negligence or even collaboration with the wrongdoers.

In light of the above, I strongly urge the local police authorities to conduct a proper investigation into this case, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The allegation of involvement of a member of the Bangladeshi Army is particularly worrying and therefore I urge upon the local authorities to undertake all legal measures required in this case in order to establish the facts and identify the perpetrators. The victims must receive necessary legal assistance and adequate compensation for the damages caused, and their safety and wellbeing must be guranteed during the entire process.

I trust that you will take immediate action on this serious matter.

Yours sincerely,

(...)

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mrs. Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister

Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh

Office of the Prime Minister

Tejgaon, Dhaka

BANGLADESH

Fax: +880 2 811 3244 / 3243 / 1015 / 1490

Tel: +880 2 882 816 079 / 988 8677

E-mail: pm@pmo.gov.bd or ps1topm@pmo.gov.bd or psecy@pmo.gov.bd

2. Mr. Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim

Chief Justice

Supreme Court of Bangladesh

Supreme Court Building

Ramna, Dhaka-1000

BANGLADESH

Fax: +880 2 956 5058

Tel: +880 2 956 2792

3. Barrister Shafique Ahmed

Minister

Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs

Bangladesh Secretariat

Dhaka-1000

BANGLADESH

Tel: +880 2 7160627

Fax: +880 2 7168557

4. Ms. Sahara Khatun MP

Minister

Ministry of Home Affairs

Bangladesh Secretariat

Dhaka-1000

BANGLADESH

Tel: +880 2 7169069

Fax: +880 2 7160405, 880 2 7164788

5. Mr. Mahbubey Alam

Attorney General of Bangladesh

Office of the Attorney General

Supreme Court Annex Building

Ramna, Dhaka-1000

BANGLADESH

Fax: +880 2 956 1568

Tel: +880 2 956 2868

6. Mr. Nur Mohammad

Inspector General of Police (IGP)

Bangladesh Police

Police Headquarters'

Fulbaria, Dhaka-1000

BANGLADESH

Fax: +880 2 956 3362 / 956 3363

Tel: +880 2 956 2054 / 717 6451 / 717 6677

E-mail: ig@police.gov.bd

7. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)

Khulna Range

Office of the DIG of Khulna Range

Khulna

BANGLADESH

Fax: +880 41 761300

Tel: +880 41 761823

E-mail: digkhulna@police.gov.bd



1 comment:

Facebook said...

In such cases, while the court stands besides the criminal & allow their bail, then that court should be demolished immediately & if the Govt. does not do it, then that Govt. also should be charged for such criminal offence. If the conscious people do not come forward to get rid of such crime, then oneday this franquenstine will swallow them too. If the law helps the criminals, then every citizen has the right to violate it.