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Monday, March 4, 2013

Jamaat terrorises Bangladesh Hindus, rioters burn 6 temples

Source: NITI Central

Jamaat terrorises Bangladesh Hindus, burn 6 templesActivists of Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, the Islami Chhatra Shibir have unleashed a streak of terror since Thursday, targeting the Hindu community in the country.
Reviving the nightmare of 1971 for minority Hindu community, Jamaat-Shibir men vandalised six temples and set fire to several Hindu houses and business in Noakhali, Gaibandha, Chittagong, Rangpur, Sylhet, Chapainawabganj and Rajganj, a Daily Star report said.
Two people were killed in the ensuing clashes between Jamaat-Shibir and the police in Datterhat and Rajganj, on Friday.
Hours after top Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death on Thursday, Jamaat activists set fire to Harishiva temple in Rajganj.
“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, the report said.
“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.
Jamaat-Shibir men outnumbered policemen in Rajganj as tensions continued to escalate. Just as soon as the police tried to scale down the violence, Jamaatis initiated an exchange of gunshots with the law enforcers, in which one person was killed.
They also threatened the local media from covering the event and seized cameras of photojournalists, according to the report.
In Chittagong, Jamaat activists attacked two Hindu-majority localities in Banshkhali upazila and set fire to a Buddhist temple at Satkania upazila. They also set fire to three shops belonging to Hindus at Satkania upazila and attacked people with sticks, iron rods and sharp weapons, critically injuring two, the police said.
In Gaibandha, Jamaat-Shibir men attacked a temple and business establishments belonging to Hindus on Friday. Later in the day, they vandalised houses in Shovaganj union.
Hindus also claimed that Jamaatis had vandalised, set fire to, and looted temples, houses and business establishments of the community in Sylhet, Rangpur, Thakurgaon, Laxmipur and Chapainawabganj. They also said that the Islamists had vandalised the central Kali temple in Rangpur and another in Chapainawabganj.

Stop violence against Hindus, says Bangladeshi daily

Source: IANS

Stop violence against Hindus, says Bangladeshi daily
Dhaka, Mar 4: Attacks on Hindus signify a "sinister trend" and the government must deal with the situation firmly, said a Bangladeshi daily Monday, the second day of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee's Dhaka trip that takes place amid violence over the death sentence to a top Islamist opposition leader.
"We note with a great deal of concern that the recent eruptions of political violence have been marked by some attacks on members of Hindu community with their houses and temples vandalised," said an editorial in the Daily Star.
Reports of such incidents have come from different areas of Noakhali, Chittagong, Barisal, Bagerhat and Gazipur.
"That this is very unfortunate as well as outrageous is saying the least. We condemn the perpetrators of such cowardly and despicable acts in the strongest term. The government must deal with the situation firmly to nip the sinister trend in the bud," the daily demanded.
It pointed out that since the members of minority community are vulnerable to the machinations of trouble-mongers, necessary precautionary measures should have been put in place earlier on to pre-empt any untoward incident.

"The government must fill in the gaps in its security arrangements as it cannot afford to be caught unprepared in the future. We urge the government to ensure reinforced police presence, especially in places that are inhabited by the people of minority community," the editorial said.

Mukherjee began his three-day trip Sunday. The violence cast a shadow on the Indian president's visit with opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia, who was to meet Mukherjee Monday, calling off the meeting, citing security concerns.

The daily went on to say that as a society having homogenous ethnic texture, communal harmony has traditionally been Bangladesh's hallmark. 

"So, the violence that has happened might have been a ploy of the vested quarters to smear the secular image of the country."

It demanded that the government should now stand by the victims, maintain constant vigil by law-enforcers as well as by local people to thwart any further attempt to attack them or cause communal disharmony. 

"Every specific instance of vandalism against the minority community, their houses and religious places must be probed to identify the culprits and take measures to bring them to justice. At the same time, the victims need to be compensated so that they are able to rebuild their lives," the editorial added.