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Monday, December 16, 2013

Bipartisan Letter sent to Bangladesh Prime Minister and Chairperson, Bangladesh Nationalist Party Urging Free and Fair Elections

Source: House Foreign Affairs
Washington, D.C. – Today, a bipartisan letter was sent to both Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, urging a free, fair, and credible election process.

The texts of the letters follows:

December 12, 2013
The Honorable Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Old Sangsad Bhaban
Tejgaon, Dhaka-1215
Bangladesh

Dear Prime Minister Hasina:

As an important partner in South Asia, the United States is committed to its relationship with Bangladesh. The very foundation of our partnership is built upon a strong bond of friendship.

It is in this spirit that we strongly urge you to engage in direct negotiations immediately with leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to ensure that the upcoming elections are free, fair and viewed as credible by the Bangladeshi people.

We are concerned that continued political deadlock and related violence, including violence aimed at Hindus and other minorities, will have a negative impact on the real progress that is being made Bangladesh. The country’s economic achievements, including a 6 percent annual growth rate, the decline in the poverty rate, and the tremendous growth in our bilateral trade is progress that we do not want to see stop.

At the same time, we fear the potential impact that politically motivated violence and a flawed electoral process will have on this progress.

We do not see how credible elections can take place unless the parties move quickly to engage in direct negotiations and all sides agree to move ahead. This includes the establishment of a mutually acceptable mechanism to carry out the elections in a credible manner. Furthermore, we don’t believe election related violence is acceptable or a legitimate part of the democratic process. We urge you to do everything within your power to prevent any and all forms of violence.

The United States will work with the future, credibly elected, Government of Bangladesh, and we urge that future government to exact no retribution on whichever party loses the election.

We will continue to closely follow this matter and appreciate your attention to ensuring that democracy is allowed to flourish in Bangladesh.

Sincerely,

Eliot L. Engel Edward R. Royce
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Steve Chabot Joseph Crowley
Member of Congress Member of Congress

George Holding Grace Meng
Member of Congress Member of Congress




December 12, 2013
Begum Khaleda Zia
Chairperson, Bangladesh Nationalist Party
H#06, R#86,
Gulshan-2, Dhaka-1212
Bangladesh

Dear Madam Zia:

As an important partner in South Asia, the United States is committed to its relationship with Bangladesh. The very foundation of our partnership is built upon a strong bond of friendship.

It is in this spirit that we strongly urge you to engage in direct negotiations immediately with leaders of the Awami League to ensure that the upcoming elections are free, fair and viewed as credible by the Bangladeshi people.

We are concerned that continued political deadlock and related violence, including violence aimed at Hindus and other minorities, will have a negative impact on the real progress that is being made Bangladesh. The country’s economic achievements, including a 6 percent annual growth rate, the decline in the poverty rate, and the tremendous growth in our bilateral trade is progress that we do not want to see stop.

At the same time, we fear the potential impact that politically motivated violence and a flawed electoral process will have on this progress.

We do not see how credible elections can take place unless the parties move quickly to engage in direct negotiations and all sides agree to move ahead. This includes the establishment of a mutually acceptable mechanism to carry out the elections in a credible manner. Furthermore, we don’t believe election related violence is acceptable or a legitimate part of the democratic process. We urge you to do everything within your power to prevent any and all forms of violence.

The United States will work with the future, credibly elected, Government of Bangladesh, and we urge that future government to exact no retribution on whichever party loses the election.

We will continue to closely follow this matter and appreciate your attention to ensuring that democracy is allowed to flourish in Bangladesh.

Sincerely,

Eliot L. Engel Edward R. Royce
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Steve Chabot Joseph Crowley
Member of Congress Member of Congress

George Holding Grace Meng
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Jamaat Threat in Lalmonirhat: Panicked, Hindus flee

Source: Daily Star News.

9 killed as Jamaat clashes with cops in 4 districts

Many Hindu families and Awami League men in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat fled their homes yesterday following repeated threats from Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.
hindus flee 
 As violence continued to escalate, four people were killed in the upazila and five others in Joypurhat, Laxmipur and Sylhet districts throughout the day. At least 57 were injured across the country.
Minorities came under attack also in Satkhira. In different parts of the district, alleged Jamaat-Shibir men have burned and vandalised at least 36 houses and shops belonging to Hindus since the execution of convicted war criminal Quader Mollah Thursday night.
In the northern district of Lalmonirhat, at least 55 Hindu families of Ghoshpara had fled away, said a villager, 54-year-old Subhash Chandra Ghosh. “We have taken shelter at our relatives’ houses about 50 to 60 kilometres off the village.”
In the same village, Hindus came under attack on November 28 during the opposition’s 71-hour blockade. Alleged Jamaat-Shibir activists beat up at least 12 women and children and torched and looted at least five shops and two houses.
Dharani Kanta Sen, 60, of Shafinagar said, “Many Hindus left the village as the Jamaat-Shibir men threatened to torch their houses at night.”
In this village too, Jamaat-Shibir men along with BNP activists unleashed a terror on a Hindu neighbourhood on October 28.
Sunil Chandra Sen, 48, a Hindu community leader of the village, said, “Local Hindus called me to know what to do, but I myself have gone into hiding.”
Rabiul Islam, an AL activist of Kafir Bazar village, said many of his party colleagues fled away with their family members fearing Jamaat-Shibir mayhem, though law enforcers assured them of tight security.
Sultan Miah, another AL activist who was still home, said “I don’t know what will happen at night.”
Other villages which were deserted include Awliar Hat, Bawra Bazar and Beltoli.
Upazila Chairman Ruhul Amin Babul said many identified ruling party men have abandoned their houses. Around a hundred local AL activists and members of the Hindu community received threats from Jamaat-Shibir men that their houses will be torched at night.
“I’m also not safe,” Ruhul Amin said, adding that law enforcement agencies had increased patrolling in these areas.
Officer-in-Charge Sohrab Hossain of Patgram Police Station said he has information that Jamaat-Shibir men planned to commit atrocities against AL men and Hindu homes in these villages.
Also yesterday, a clash ensued when police tried to disperse Jamaat-Shibir men blockading the Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway in Patgram around 7:30am.
The blockaders threw four crude bombs at police, triggering an exchange of fire that left one Shibir man dead on the spot. Two injured Shibir activists died in hospital. The dead were Manirul Islam, 28, Abdur Rahim, 30, and Saju Islam, 24.
In retaliation, Shibir activists hacked AL activist Mintu Islam to death in broad daylight, dragging him out of his Kafir Bazar house around 12:20pm.
The highway clash also left at least 30 injured. They include seven policemen and 10 ordinary citizens.
At least 11 houses of AL men in Kafir Bazar and two belonging to Jatiya Party men were torched and looted.
Also in the upazila, 180-feet rail track was uprooted and a hundred fish plates were removed near Bawra Railway Station.
With 252 feet of railway tracks at Pirgachha upazila in Rangpur uprooted, train services on Dinajpur-Dhaka and Lalmonirhat-Dinajpur remained suspended till around 9:00pm. A train also derailed in the district.
In Sirajganj, pickets damaged two bridges in Konagati and Bawoitara in the early hours of yesterday. They also vandalised a private car.
At least two cops were injured when Jamaat men hurled bombs at a police van.
In Joypurhat, Mohammad Firoz Hossain, 30, a rickshaw van puller, was killed being caught in a gunfight between Jamaat and law enforcers. Jamaat men Shamim Hossain, 24 and Insan Ali, 22, were also left dead.
After around a thousand Jamaat-Shibir men encircled patrol police team, BGB and Rab members rushed to spot and the gunbattle began.
Mirajul Islam, 22, a Chhatra League activist, was killed in Laxmipur. A group of Jamaat-Shibir activists attacked him on his way to a relative’s house and slit his throat, our correspondent quoted the district Chhatra League president as saying.
In Sylhet, an AL man named Nazrul Islam, 35, was hacked to death early yesterday, while returning home from a procession.
A freedom fighter named Hazrat Ali, 55, suffered serious injuries in a Jamaat-Shibir assault in Shajahanpur upazila of Bogra yesterday morning, his family said.
In Pirojpur, alleged Jamaat-Shibir men torched the house of a union-level AL leader Bidhan Chandra Mistri.
They also dug up the roads leading to the closest fire stations in Pirojpur and Nazirpur, thereby preventing fire fighters from reaching the spot.
At least 25 were hurt in Rajshahi and Pabna during clashes between Jamaat-Shibir and AL and law enforcers.
In Khulna, police arrested district Jamaat Assistant Secretary Zahangir Hossain Helal.
Several bombs were exploded in front of the daily Sangram in Dhaka around 11:30pm yesterday, police say.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Count down for a Hindu-less Bangladesh. One million Hindu minorities vanished from Bangladesh in just one decade.

Source: HinduExistence.org 

Opinion

One million Hindu minorities vanished from Bangladesh in last decade. Is it a count down for a Hindu-less Bangladesh?

~ Upananda Brahmachari. 
Attacks after attacks upon Hindu minorities in recent times


304
Hindu women in Banshkhali Upazila, Bangladesh surveying the remains of their demolished homes after being attacked by the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. Photo:  globalvoicesonline
With a great danger posing to their existence as citizen of Bangladesh, the minority Hindus have been kept under attack, allegedly by activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its students wing, in Patgram, northern Lalmonirhat district, for the second time in the last month, mainstream Bangladesh newspapers highlighted the matter all along. The first major attack in the same district on Hindus in the recent turmoil in Bangladesh, was made at inSatpatki Majhipara in Lalmonirhat on Nov 4, 2013.
In Patgram, the attackers beat up Hindu women and children and torched and looted at least five shops and two houses at Ghoshpara village on the third day of the opposition-sponsored recently held 71-hour blockade, said the dailies quoting police and eyewitnesses .
The incident fueled concerns over a fresh spell of attacks on the minority Hindus as men of the village have fled in fear.
Again if you consider the cases of last month as reported by Sri Rabindranath Ghosh, a Hindu Human Rights activist and an advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court, you cant simply imagine the present situation of Minority Hindus Bangladesh really.
The email as sent by Mr Ghosh to our mail box 0n 30th Nov, narrates the below:
“Hindu Deities (Murthi) broken/set on fire by unknown perpetrators at Shahjadpur and Rangulnia Upazila of  both Serajgonj and Chittagong districts on 26th November, 2013 ( The Daily Protom Alo dated 28.11.2013)
A sense of insecurity amongst the Hindu communities at Rangunia and Shahjadpur prevailing,because their places of worships and deities were broken, desecrated and set on fire by unidentified perpetrators.More than 11 Hindu deities were broken on last Tuesday to defame their religion. As a result the belongings of the Temple were set ablaze.
It is alleged that  “Uttaar Para Kali Mondir” and” Hari Mondir” at Shahjadpur within the district of Serajgonj are the oldest ( two hundred years old) situated. Side by side two temples were attacked on Tuesday night and eleven statues of Hindu deities were broken and set fire on the houses of Shebait –Sree Jowtish Chandra Ghosh and Aynal
Persecution upon BD Hindu Minorities
Hossain before they escaped. As soon as the fire broke out neighbour came at the spot and tried to control the fire from further extinguishing.
In Rangunia Upazila another Temple named “Rajjwa Bhawan Shib Temple” at Rajanagar was attacked on the same night on Tuesday by some unknown perpetrators, the belongings and utensils were stolen and the temple was vandalized.
I, on behalf of Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW) and Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD) enquired about the situation. The Assistant Superintendent of Police, Shahjadpur Circle Md. Zillur Rahman informed me, on query, over cell phone No.01713374036 said that a case number 20, dated 27.11.13 under section 295/297 of Bangladesh penal code started but they could not arrest any perpetrators. Md. Zillur also gave me to understand that only two Hindu deities were broken not eleven, but the local people informed us that 11 deities were broken and damaged. But expressed inability to apprehend the criminals to justice as their names are not mentioned in the F.I.R. No accused has yet been apprehended.
Bangladesh Minority Watch also contacted with Md. Waliullah Oli,Officer in Charge of Rangunia Police station at Chittagong over his cell number 01713373645 who game me to understand that a case has been recorded under section 295/336/224 of Bangladesh Penal code without mentioning the names of the accused. No person has yet been arrested.
Bangladesh Minority Watch is very much concerned about the attack on religious places of Minority communities at Shahjadpur and Rangunia and we also demand immediate arrest of the perpetrators and they should be brought to book as per law.”
The email exactly reflected the agony and anxiety of  Bangladeshi Hindus.
In Bonogram bazaar in Santhia upazila, about 40 kilometres from Pabna sadar, Hindus were attacked in Pabna on 2nd Nov, as ’Jamaat-BNP men’ used false Facebook post concoction for rampage upon frightened Hindu minorities.
The series of persecution upon Bangladeshi Hindu minorities by the majority Muslim persecutors are endless.
No reason or only reason to attack the minority to make a Hindu Less Bangladesh 
hindus-in-attack
An elderly woman laments over the loss of her home at Bonogram of Pabna after 25 houses belonging to Hindus were vandalised. Photo: Star
For the case of Lalmonir Hat, the minority leaders alleged that the villages had come under attack for ‘no specific reason’. However, local union Parishad Chairman Ruhul Amin Babul said, taking the advantage of countrywide blockade they attacked the Hindus who do not belong to any political party. “They did so to create panic in the area and use that to their advantage,” the chairman concluded.
Another minority village also came under havoc where Hindus were allegedly attacked by BNP and Jamaat-Shibir men on October 27 in Shafinagar under the same district, in the first day of the opposition-called shutdown. The vandals beat 12 women as the males fled the scene.
Quoting police and eyewitnesses, newspapers said about 200 to 250 Jamaat-Shibir activists led by Shibir leader Rana Islam brought out a procession in the area and swooped on Hindus’ shops and houses. A number of aggrieved villagers alleged that some local Awami League men, too, were responsible for inciting the violence.
The case of Bonogram bazaar in Santhia upazila had an uniqueness of Islamic rumouring as it was leveled  blasphemy against an innocent minor Hindu boy. Was that a ‘fundamentalism without reason’?
But, for the cases of Serajgonj and Chittagong, Sri Rabibdra Ghosh categorically stated over telephone that the recent spate of communal violence  arising out of the BNP-Awami League political tussle, is nothing but a ‘definite conspiracy’, leading to an end of Bangladesh Hindus very soon, if not checked.
The voice of Sri Ghosh seemed to me very frightened and a matter of fact that Sri Ghsoh was attacked several times by Muslims goons to stop his Hindu defense activities through legal and rights movement.
While this is a reality for a Rights activist and Advocate of Supreme Court, the common Hindu minorities of Bangladesh have the only way to flee from their home and hearth under a silent exodus.
In his article “Future Of The Hindus In Bangladesh“ written in Sri Lanka Gurdian, Mr. Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor, the Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh has hinted such trend of Hindus about to leave Bangladesh.
But, if you talk about this trend of exodus of Hindus from Bangladesh, no Govt authority is ready to accept this truth. Whether it is Bangladesh Govt. or the authorities of India, who are very apathetically sinner for this final countdown  for Hindu-less Bangladesh.
One million Hindu minorities have been vanished from Bangladesh in just last decade
BD Hindus fleeing to IndiaIf you want to talk about the silent Hindu exodus from Bangladesh or the Hindu genocide in Bangladesh, the others suspect the reason behind. So far the Hindu minorities have been benefiting  the political gain for both the country Bangladesh and India. While these refugees or the non-legalized Hindus coming from Bangladesh are treated by the politicians as an instrumental of voting in West Bengal (even some portions of Delhi and Mumbai also), in Bangladesh these minority Hindus are treated as kaffir, jimmi and the resource for bare exploitation and pleasure in the hands of majority Muslims there.
But, the scale of such exodus or the genocide have been recorded by very authenticate version, which cannot be denied.
As per Dr. Sabyasachi Ghosh-Dastidar’s book, ”Empire’s last casualty: Indian subcontinent’s vanishing Hindu and other minorities”s, over three million Hindus have been killed in the process of Islamisation in the area now known as Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since India was Partitioned in 1947. This loss of three million lives remain suppressed from the world. This book claimed a huge 49 Million Hindus Missing From Bangladesh Census due to Islamic atrocities.
But, most recently, the Biggest Hindu Genocide in modern-times has been exposed. 10 million Hindus were massacred by Pakistan Army in Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
In his research book,  ”The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide”, writer Gary J Bass holds the truth that ahead of Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971, the Pakistani Army systematically committed genocide of the Hindu community in the then East Pakistan and the Nixon Administration kept a blind eye to it.

Execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader sparks violent protests in Bangladesh

Source: Post

Vehicle carrying body of Abdul Quader Mollah
Picture (Courtesy: Post. Vehicle carrying body of Abdul Quader Mollah)

Mollah, the first person to be hanged for war crimes in 1971 independence war, was buried at the family graveyard at Amirabad village in Faridpur district around 4: 20 am after funeral prayers, District Magistrate Md Mamun Shiblee, who supervised the burial, was quoted as saying by a news website.
  
The execution of the 65-year-old Jamaat leader, infamous as 'Butcher of Mirpur', took place on Friday night after the Supreme Court rejected his review petition.
  
Activists of Jamaat and its student wing, Chhatra Shibir, vandalized, torched and looted around 50 houses and business establishments of AL supporters and minorities in different areas of the district after Mollah's execution, said Joybeb Chowdhury, additional superintendent of police in Satkhira.
  
Two AL supporters and a child were killed in Satkhira while Jamaat activist Sukkur Ali, 25, was killed in Pirojpur, a newspaper reported.
  
In Sadar upazila, police recovered a bullet-riddled body this morning.
  
Jamaat supporters also took out flash processions and exploded crude bombs at several other areas. They clashed with police at many places. At many places, the police opened fire and shot several rounds to disperse the protesters.
  
Jamaat supporters’ torched shops owned by AL leaders and activists at different Unions at Banshkhali in Chittagong.
  
The Islamist party has announced a nationwide strike on Sunday to protest the execution of Mollah.

Amnesty fears attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh after execution

Source: Z News

Dhaka: Execution of a top leader of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami for war crimes in Bangladesh could lead to reprisal attacks on minority communities, especially Hindus, a leading human rights watchdog has warned.

Bangladesh executed Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah, infamous as the "Butcher of Mirpur", for 1971 war crimes last night, making him the first politician to be hanged for such crimes.

"At this volatile time many people including minority Hindus are at risk of reprisal attacks....They are at particular risk of violence now the execution has been carried out," said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International's Bangladesh Researcher.

"Authorities must ensure that anyone at risk, especially Hindus are given the protection they need at this tense time. Whole villages were burned down in the violence against Hindus this year and no one has been brought to justice," he said in a statement.


"It is also crucial that all politicians in Bangladesh make it crystal clear to their supporters to refrain from human rights abuses, and that attacks on Hindu communities are unacceptable," said Faiz.

Jamaat cadres have targeted Hindus over the International Crimes Tribunal trials of the party's leaders relating to the 1971 liberation war. Many of the prosecution witnesses have been Hindus.