Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bangladesh 2013: Hindu Buddhist Temple Destruction; Village Torching; International War Crimes Tribunal; Protecting Mass Murderers; Victimizing Oppressed Victims

Bangladesh 2013: Hindu Buddhist Temple Destruction; Village Torching; International War Crimes Tribunal; Protecting Mass Murderers; Victimizing Oppressed Victims
Sachi G. Dastidar
November 30, 2013
Since early 2013 an International War Crimes Tribunal started releasing their verdicts after years-long trials of Islamists and pro-Pakistan mass murderers of Bangladeshis. Overwhelming majority killed during the 1971 Bangladesh genocide by the army of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its Bengali Islamist allies was their indigenous Hindu minority along with the nation's pro-independence intelligentsia and pro-secular Muslims. In early 2013 the pro-secular and pro-independence activists acted in revulsion when one of the mass murderers was given a life sentence as opposed to the expected death sentence. The pro-secular groups held mass demonstrations at Shahbag which came to be known worldwide as Shahbag Movement.
 Soon in a strange move the pro-genocide, anti-secular, anti-Hindu intolerant activists, led by Islamist Hefajat (Hefazat) supporters and their Jamat-e-Islami – who led the killings in 1971 – and other Islamist supporters embarked on anti-Hindu atrocities, torching and destroying Hindu mandirs (temples), destroying Hindu deities (murtis), torching poor oppressed-caste Hindu villages, homes and shops, destroying Buddhist viharas (temples) and homes. They also committed atrocities against Hindu–Buddhist individuals, including mothers and daughters. Situation was made worse for Hindus as the main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP lend tacit support of anti-Hindu pogroms by calling numerous national general strikes as the verdicts were being announced and by not condemning the anti-Hindu atrocities. BNP was in power in Bangladesh five years ago in coalition with several Islamist, anti-minority and anti-independence parties including Jamat-i-Islami, one of the leading parties of anti-Hindu pogrom of 2013, also the leader of mass killings of Hindus and secular Muslims during 1971 genocide. (Many of the convicted war criminals were members of the former 2001-2006 BNP Government.) Even in 2001 when BNP came to power they let loose an anti-Hindu pogrom, as they did before when they came to power in 1991. There was no prosecution of arsonists, property confiscators, rapists and thugs during their five years in power, or during their first term after the 1992 pogrom. In the midst of these Bangladesh Awami League Government published a routine list of successful Civil Service passing list of 5,812 individuals of which “only 478 have Hindu names, or 8.22%, slightly less that the share of Bangladeshi Hindu population,” who passed written and oral tests. Immediately on November 18, 2013 one activist, Dr. F. M. Kamal, went on offensive by declaring on a web list serve “Bangladesh captured by Hindus: List of Hindus in the Awami Government” as it assumes that the pro-independence Awami League Government has loosened what Bangladeshi Hindu, Buddhist, Christians and tolerant Muslims have called apartheid-like ban on hiring of qualified Hindus into country’s civil service, military, police, foreign service and more, and enforced by pro-Islamist, anti-minority-Hindu regimes. (There are numerous write ups on this issue. Please also check YouTube’s Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation or Ispad1947 channel where many of the meritorious survivor Hindus, Buddhists, Christians talk about scoring high on exams with anonymous roll numbers but denied hiring after results were published with their given names identifying their faith.) Several secular Muslims protested this blatant racism in the Internet. Dr. Kamal also published all the names of Hindus in Bangladesh Civil Service, which in the future could serve as a tool for further oppression. Not to be undone, the BNP supporters took out full-page ads in New York Bengali papers “LARGE PROTEST DEMONSTRATION against Oppression and Spreading of Indian Influence over Bangladesh; from 2 PM to 4 PM on 25 December 2013, in front of New York and other Indian Consulates in the U.S. and World over – by BNP” (Weekly Bangalee, November 24, 2013; 37). Even the slightest accommodation of their own pre-Islamic indigenous Hindus, ancestral faith of all Bengali Muslims, neighbors for hundreds of years in their own villages, a minor concession by pro-secular Muslims must be condemned as will the neighboring secular India where over 50 million persecuted Hindu refugees and their descendants have found shelter; and now millions of Bangladeshis Muslims have crossed the unmarked border to settle in eastern and northeastern states of India causing social upheavals and political turmoil! India helped liberate Bangladesh in 1971; with the help of Bangla Freedom Fighters. (One wonders if Christian Cherokee Americans or Seminole Americans or Navajo Americans have ever complained that their non-converted counterparts of Native American Religions have taken over their nation with proclamation that America “captured by Indigenous Native Religionists” and publishes a “List of Nativists in the (American) Government for future action!)

Yet in a baffling silence the pro-independence ruling Awami League Government not only failed to arrest and prosecute any of the anti-Hindu arsonists, thugs and rapists, but also failed to provide any compensation to the poor, hapless Hindus who were made homeless, penniless, but arrested several young men – Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist – for supposedly offending Islam (but no arrest was made for offending Hinduism or Buddhism.) The government however took steps to repair some Buddhist viharas (temples) that many thought “because of pressure from Buddhist-majority countries.” There was neither any pressure from any Hindu-majority nation against these atrocities nor by any Hindu-majority state of India. The U.S., Canada, some European countries and the minority Hindu, Buddhist, Christians themselves and their secular Muslim allies protested these atrocities. Incidentally two states of India are run by colonizing (since 1947) Bangladeshi Hindu refugee elites. Many other Bangladeshi Hindu refugees and their descendants work as top policy makers in the federal government in Delhi and in many other Indian states. Many of them hold important positions in the private sector of India. These refugees – left, far left, center or right – never fail to protest against real or imagined atrocities in the U.S., Europe, Africa and in other parts of Asia including oppression by the U.S. in Palestine and Afghanistan. Although in March 30, 2013 there has been demonstration in favor of Bangladeshi intolerant Islamists in the heart of Hindu-majority Calcutta’s Maidan park, a city where left rules and where millions uprooted Hindu refugees live, yet in that so-called liberal city run by liberal-communist Bangladeshi Hindu refugees there has neither been any demonstration in support of secular Bangladesh, not for the courageous journalists and activists who publish reports of atrocities on a daily basis in Bangladeshi papers. (All the Indian papers whether of communal left, right or center censor these reports.) In New York pious Muslims and Ispamic preachers held a spirited meeting where they openly declared "There is no room for non-believers in Bangladesh (The Weekly Bangladesh, May 2, 2013; last page and p 32.) In early 2013 one Bangla national daily Prothom Alo reported (March 24, 2013) torching, desecration or destruction of “319 temples in the first 24 Days of March.” Another national daily Bhorer Kagoj reported (March 28, 2013) “2500 Hindu Homes and Hindu-Buddhist temples were torched, desecrated and damaged in 35 Districts of Bangladesh.”
In a ray of hope to our miseries US Congressional Sub Committee on Asia and the Pacific arranged a hearing in the Congressional Rayburn Office Building on November 20, 2013. But alas, there was hardly any discussion of killing, cleansing or torching of Hindu temples or of their homes. (The US Ambassador to Bangladesh Hon. Dan Mozena protested anti-Hindu acts through an embassy statement on November 6, 2013.) There was no panelist who came from the victimized Hindu or Buddhist community. Even the Human Rights Watch of New York instead of supporting the International (War) Crimes trial – when the killers targeted the entire Hindu minority and secular Muslim intellectuals for extinction – criticized the present-day Bangladesh Government for trying the mass murderers. Since 1971 genocide they haven’t said a word about the mass murderers of Hindus and secular Muslims when the murderers still live openly in Bangladesh, Pakistan and beyond. After the 1990, 1992 and 2001 anti-Hindu pogroms the Human Rights Watch (Asia Watch) was hand delivered documents of atrocities to their New York headquarters. (One of the two recently convicted killers of the 1971 genocide lives in New York City while the other live in London.) Seeing the pathetic omission of Bangladeshi Hindu plight at the Congressional Hearing one American observer Ms. Madeline Brooks wrote “Bangladesh: How Islamists Stole a Congressional Hearing,” in American Thinker, November 27, 2013. A professor in Bangladesh chastised Brooks on the Internet for writing such a piece in a land of hunky-dory Muslim-non-Muslim communal harmony. On November 29, 2013 he was corrected by Syed Kamran Mirza. On the same vein, the October 2013 issue of Ispad Partition Center Journal (New York) Bimal Pramanik, a Bangladesh Freedom Fighter, reminded the readers of the rise of secularism in Muslim-majority Bangladesh and then her turn towards oppressive polity in his article, “Liberation War and Identify Crisis of Bangladeshi Muslims” ( In the same issue Dr. Mohsin Siddique, a pro-secular activist, highlighted this turn and its consequence in “From Partition to Bangladesh: on the Trajectory of a Troubled Quest.” (While Mr. Ramen Nandi highlighted India’s failure, “Silence of the Dead: Policy of Government of India for the Persecuted Hindus and Other Minorities of Bangladesh.)
On November 10, 2013 at an uplifting event in New York Bangladeshi Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and their supporters from Bangladesh, America, India and Europe pledged to protect the remainder of the Hindu and other minorities who still live precariously at home in their ancestral lands. They also pledged to work with all non-racist, tolerant, pro-secular forces to protect their family members, their mandirs, churches, viharas and other institutions. They also pledged to protect the majority community from the onslaught of intolerant extremism.
(I thank numerous individuals for sending me these reports.) 
From the report of Bangladesh Human Rights Watch
Mr. Rabindra Ghosh, Bangladesh, President
Bangladesh​: Religious Minority again attacked on 28.11.2013 at Patgram within Lalmonirha​t District:
Hindus came under attack allegedly by activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir at Patgram Upazila in Lalmonirhat for the second time in a month yesterday on 28.11.2013. Police set free one Md. Nazrul Islam UP Member of the locality on protest.
The attackers beat up at least 12 women and children and torched and looted at least five shops and two houses at Ghoshpara village of Jongra union on the third day of the opposition-sponsored 71-hour blockade.
The incident fuelled concerns over a fresh spell of attacks on the Hindus as men of the village have fled in fear of further attacks.
Earlier on October 28, Jamaat-Shibir men along with BNP activists unleashed a terror on another Hindu majority area at Shafinagar in Bawra union during hartal, torching at least 18 shops.Ghoshpara, situated nearly 87 km from the district headquarters, is only three kilometers away from Shafinagar.
Opposition activists on November 4 also attacked another village at Satpatki Majhipara in Sadar upazila. They vandalized and looted several houses after villagers had refused to pay them toll.
About 200 to 250 Jamaat-Shibir activists and supporters led by Patgram upazila unit Shibir president Rana Islam yesterday made a sudden attack on the shops and houses from a procession, said police and witnesses.
Perpetrators vandalized and looted three groceries owned by Sree Manik Chandra Ghosh, Sree Subhas Chandra Ghosh, and Sree Jamini Ghosh, a fertiliser shop of Sree Khokan Chandra Ghosh, and a pharmacy of Sree Koyel Chandra Ghosh. The attackers also vandalized two houses belonging to Sree Koyel Chandra Ghosh and Sree Dhanjit Ghosh Tapos, president of Bangladesh Chhatra League of Rangpur district unit.
Locals were confused about the reason behind the attack. Some said the Jamaat-Shibir men were angry with Dhanjit and attacked his and other Hindu houses.
A number of Hindu villagers however alleged that ruling party men had instigated the attack.
Police arrested Nazrul Islam, member of local Union Parishad and former president of Shibir of Patgram upazila.
Officer-in-charge of Patgram police Sohrab Hossain said Rana was a listed criminal and was on the run. Gopal Chandra Barman, general secretary of district Puja Udjapan Parishad, said several male members of at least 23 Hindu families had left the village and were in need of security.
Rabindra Ghosh, President of Bangladesh Minority Watch, said after the two incidents, the Hindus of Patgram were living in fear and a sense of insecurity. (The Daily Star dated 29.11.2013)
As soon as BDMW got information from our correspondent from Lalmonirhat I contacted with Officer in charge of Patgram P.S. informed us that a case Number 28 dated 28.11.2013 under section 143/147/148/380/427/506/114 was registered against 3 perpetrators known perpetrators and 100 unknown perpetrators. One suspected accused Md.
Nazrul Islam, U.P. has been set on free by police on threat.
As per report it is confirmed that one of the perpetrators U.P. Member of the locality was arrested but police set him free due to pressure from the local people.
Bangladesh Minority Watch is very much concerned about repeated attack on Hindus at Lalmonirhat District, we also demand immediate arrest of the perpetrators responsible for the attack on Minority Hindus.
Adv. Rabindra Ghosh
Founder President-Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW)
12- K.M. Das Lane, Tikatully, Wari P.S. Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Daily Star Dhaka
Published: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Star Online Report
Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, vandalised and looted houses and shops of the Hindu community in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat today, leaving at least 12 Hindus injured.
The Jamaat-Shibir men made the attack from a procession at 9:30am, our Lalmonirhat correspondent reports quoting Sohrab Hossain, officer-in-charge of Patgram Police Station.
The opposition men took out a procession in favour of the countrywide 71-hour rail, roads and waterways blockade.
They marched to Ghoshpara village in the upazila and carried out the attack without any provocation, according to OC Hossain.
The Jamaat-Shibir men vandalised two houses and looted five shops, the OC added.
Daily Star Report

Bangladesh: US Congress warns against non-inclusive election

DHAKA – The US Congress has expressed deep concern over the growing political violence in Bangladesh as two major political parties remained adamant in their respective positions and feared that further instability might lead to expansion of “extremist” groups threatening “regional security”.

      The observation was made at a hearing, titled “Bangladesh in Turmoil: A Nation on the Brink” held at Rayburn House Office Building.
     The US Congressional Sub Committee on Asia and the Pacific arranged it with US Representative Steve Chabot, Chairman of the Sub Committee on Asia and the Pacific, in the chair.
Ed Royce, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs’ Committee, Professor Ali Riaz, a Bangladeshi born Professor and Chair, Department of Politics and Government, Illinois State University and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, Major General (retd.) ANM Munir Uz Zaman, President of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies and John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch participated in the hearing as witness speakers.
Responding to a question on political situation, Professor Ali Riaz said, “I’m not very much optimistic about an inclusive election at this point unless something dramatic happens.”
      On a recent meeting between Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP] Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and country’s president Mohammad Abdul Hamid, he said the President has a very limited constitutional power. “In that case how much he will be able to intervene in this kind of situation is not very clear.”
Ali Riaz, however, said, “There’s no doubt in my mind that he has moral power. The President does carry some order.”
He said the most likely scenario is that a non-inclusive election Bangladesh is going to experience. “I wish I’m wrong. But as of today that what it looks like.”
      The analyst also mentioned two options — at least some sort of accommodation of opposition’s demand, including a cabinet not-headed by the incumbent Prime Minister would be an option or deferral of election.
Ali Riaz said the present political crisis in Bangladesh can be turned into an opportunity to build a stable democratic prosperous country.
     “It’s time for Bangladeshi political leaders to take the right decisions to hold an inclusive election, agree on post election tolerant behavior, rein in extremism, commit to address the issues of war crimes judiciously, and commit to regional peace, and it’s time for the international community to help them in this regard,” he said.
He also mentioned that economic and social achievements of recent decades show that the citizens are capable of taking steps in the right direction.
“The upcoming election is important at both domestic and regional levels with significance for the US,” Riaz added.
He said Bangladeshi politics is once again at the crossroads and the constitution requires an election to be held by 24 January 2014. “But there is no agreement between the opposition and the ruling parties as to who will oversee the election.”
     Major general [RTD] Munir Uz Zaman said “in total the formation of so-called interim government has shown that she (PM Sheikh Hasina) does not really care about what sort of accommodation is needed to solve the problem”.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will try and push towards a one-party election with disastrous consequences for the country and if she does that the country will move in the path of instability because the post election violation is going to be even higher than pre-election violence.
“If she finds it absolutely difficult to push towards a one-party election which of course is her desire then she’ll probably urge the President to declare the state of emergency by which she can stall the election and buy time for ourselves…perhaps then she’ll come back to election after a year or a year and a half.”
He said if the level of violence goes so high the military reluctantly is softened to the process to restore some bit of stability in the country and provide security to citizens. “That’s the third option I see.”
Major General [RTD] Munir said increased instability in Bangladesh means a hampering of the commercial functions, investment, trade, services and, above all, massive disturbances in normal life and subsistence activities of millions of poor and middle class of this overpopulated nation of 160 million. “Death, injury and destruction follow in big numbers in such situations in Bangladesh. A destabilized Muslim majority nation is a breeding ground of fundamentalism, militancy and even terrorism.”
     He said Bangladesh is no different. In a worst case scenario, some spillover effect cannot be ruled out to neighboring provinces of bordering nations.
      John Sifton said, “I think at some point the Prime Minister will have to come to the reality…she may not realise it today but she eventually will have to realize.”
     In his opening remark, Chabot said the country is at political turmoil and it is uncertain whether or not the BNP boycott the election. “I (during his visit in Bangladesh) stressed the need for curtailing the growing violence, which can only bring about further instability possibly leading to expansion of extremists groups,” he said.
    “During those meetings (with Hasina-Khaleda), I expressed my views that the national election should be free, fair, transparent and without violence. Both the leaders were adamant in their positions. Sheikh Hasina insisted that the provision is well in place to conduct a fair election. Khaleda Zia maintained that a fair election could not be held without caretaker government.”
      He, however, highly appreciate Bangladesh’s development saying ‘Bangladesh story has been an impressive one.’
In the hearing, Ed Royce expressed his concern over the attacks on minorities saying the government is not doing enough to protect minorities.
     In reply, Ali Riaz said, “I completely agree with you Congressmen…These’re the issues that we need to address and we urge the international community to work closely so that such attacks don’t repeat.”
Though it was supposed to start at 2pm (Washington time) it started at 2:55 pm and Chabot in his opening remark sought apology for the delay.

In Bengali Daily
Hindu Homes in Barisal Torched
November 15 2013
Prothom Alo
Unites States Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh Statement
November 6, 2013
DHAKA, NOVEMBER 6 -- We are deeply concerned by recent attacks on Hindus in Pabna district and in Lalmonirhat. We call on all those involved in these incidents to desist from abusing the rights of minorities, and ask all parties to ensure they are stopped immediately and the perpetrators are held accountable. We ask the Government of Bangladesh to act authoritatively against those who incited and committed this violence and protect the rights of minorities.

We are also remain deeply concerned by the deaths, injuries, and ongoing violence associated with hartals. While engaging in peaceful protest is a fundamental democratic right, we firmly believe violence is never the answer. We call on all parties to ensure that their protests are peaceful and we look to the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all its citizens and encourage all Bangladeshis to peacefully express their views.


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In Bengali Daily

Pabna Saithia Dozens of Hindu Homes and 2 Temples destroyed
Daily Prothom Alo
Nov 3 2013

Islamists attack Puja Celebration in Chuadanga
Daily Star
October 11 2013


Hindu Deities Destroyed in Natore, Bogra, Munshiganj in Bangladesh
October 4 13
Daily Star

The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hindus in Raozan retreat into their shell; 10 vehicles torched, 5 others vandalised in Ctg and Dhaka
In Bengali/Bangla
2013 August 22
Thakurgaon (North Bengal) Bangladesh Hindu Temple Destruction
Bhorer Kagoj (Daily)

In Bangla Daily

Kishorganj Temple Destruction

Bhorer Kagoj
October 1, 2013

In Bengali/Bangla

Ramu, Cox's Bazar District in Southeast Bangladesh Buddhist Temple Destruction

Amader Somoy

September 29, 2013


Daily Star, Dhaka
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Uttam stays missing one year after attacks on Buddhists, none sees tears of his family
Muhammad Ali Zinnat with Shamim Ashraf
A Buddha idol in the remains of a Ramu temple burned down in a communal violence last year. Photo: File
Remember the Buddhist youth Uttam Barua, the deed writer whose Facebook profile image had been doctored to make a fake post that provoked an unprecedented attack on the Buddhist community of Ramu exactly a year ago? Islamist fanatics vandalised and torched Buddhist temples and houses in Ramu and Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar in a wave of attacks, using the fake Facebook post that demeaned the holy Quran.
Uttam, 28, has been untraced since the day. Even his family does not know of his whereabouts.
Their crumbling thatched hut at Haitupi village in Ramu is proof that good days have come to an end for the family.
Uttam’s mother, his wife Rita Barua, four-year-old son Aditya and physically challenged sister Jinia huddle together in the dilapidated house, weary of the wait for his comeback.
His father Sudeepta Barua now works at a shop in Chittagong to sustain the family. He sends home half of his Tk 4,000 monthly salary.
Uttam Barua
He too does not visit the family in Ramu or disclose where he works in Chittagong, fearing further trouble descending on the family.
An investigation by The Daily Star exposed the forged Facebook profile that was used to instigate the hate attacks, as well as the inaction of the local administration and intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
The government has rebuilt and renovated several of the 19 temples and 65 houses vandalised and burnt down during the mayhem, but could do little to allay the fears of the Buddhist community.
“If it returns my son, the government may hang me. But please give my son back,” said a weeping Madhu Barua, the 55-year-old mother when this correspondent visited their cottage.
With a face as gloomy as it can be, Rita, 26, tried to calm her mother-in-law, but in vain.
“I have not heard his voice even once since the attack. We do not know whether he is dead or alive.” Now she breaks down in tears.
After the rampage began on the evening of September 29, the fanatics vandalised the house of Uttam and beat his wife up.
In a worse turn of events, his mother and aunt Aadi Barua were arrested the next day following a case filed by the police. The two were later released on a High Court order.
Of the 19 cases filed in connection with the attacks, the law enforcers have already submitted charge-sheets in seven cases and are going to do so in six more cases in the first week of October.
But many local politicians, who led the procession of fanatics before the vandalism, are at large, a sight that still makes the Buddhists panicky.
On August 12, Uttam’s wife wrote to the prime minister seeking her intervention in finding her husband, but to no avail.
The family has received no government assistance so far, said Rita, adding that she had tried but failed to meet the PM when the latter visited Ramu to inaugurate the renovated temples on September 3.
Many would say a few words of sympathy, but no one, including the leaders of the community, dared to speak for the family out of fear that they might come under attack again.
“We are facing various kinds of dangers. Why invite some more?” said Tarun Barua, a leader of the community.
Its abject poverty did not allow the family to send Uttam’s son to school this year.
“Haunted by the attack, Aditya, the son, becomes hysterical every day when darkness falls. He screams, asking us to close the door and window,” said Rita.
The child forgets the family can no longer afford to fix the door or the window vandalised by the fanatics.
Daily Star, Dhaka
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Star Online Report
Unidentified miscreants vandalised five idols of Hindu goddesses and gods at a temple in Sirajdikhan upazila of Munshiganj in the wee hours of Sunday.
The criminals vandalised three statues of Durga and one statue of Ganesha and Kartik each at Durga Temple sometime after 11:00pm Saturday, reports our Munshiganj correspondent quoting Keshab Thakur, president of the temple.
The same temple had come under attack before the last year’s Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindus, he added.
The criminals are yet to be identified, he added.
The statues were being painted ahead of the Durga Puja this year, the president added.
The criminals might have used long sticks to damage the statues as the temple is surrounded by iron grill, said Abul Bashar, officer-in-charge of Sirajdikhan Police Station.


In Bengali/Bangla

 2013 August 7

Bhorer Kagoj (Daily)
Hindu Temple Torched at Kaliakor Gazipu (Central Bangladesh)  


Daily Star, Dhaka

Published: Friday, July 19, 2013

Observes London seminar
Star Report

Members of British and European parliaments at a seminar in London expressed grievances saying that ruling Awami League and main opposition BNP had failed to protect the minority communities of the country.
UK House of Lords organised the seminar “Bangladesh Democracy and Human Rights” on Wednesday where two high-profile delegations from the AL and BNP took part, reports our London correspondent Ansar Ahmed Ullah.
In response to allegations raised by the members of House of Lords, House of Commons and European Parliament, both the AL and BNP delegations disowned their failure to protect the religious minorities.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s adviser HT Imam and BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir led their sides.
Lord Avebury, vice chair of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group and chairman of International Bangladesh Foundation, chaired the seminar while Anne Main MP, chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh and president of Conservative Friends of Bangladesh, co-chaired it.
In the opening speech, Lord Avebury expressed deep concern at the rise of extremism and minority persecution in Bangladesh in the recent times. He suggested the ruling and opposition parties work towards preventing the repeat of 2001 attack on minority communities.
Pointing to the gruesome attack on religious minorities following International Crimes Tribunal verdict against Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee on February 28, British and European parliamentarians said to protest was one’s democratic right but resorting to violence in the name of protest cannot be justified.
Defending the government actions to prevent attacks on minorities, AL delegation told the seminar that it was BNP that had unleashed the “reign of terror,” in association with Jamaat-e-Islam and Hefajat-e Islam.
“Hefajat wants to cleanse Bangladesh of faith minorities and to keep women homebound,” said HT Imam.
On the caretaker government issue, the AL delegation said the Supreme Court had decaled the system unconstitutional. Therefore, the election in Bangladesh would be held as it is held in other democratic countries.
Tarana Halim, a member of the AL delegation, sharply criticised BNP for supporting Hefajat. She said Hefajat was a threat to women’s empowerment in Bangladesh.
The opposition camp rejected AL allegations and assured members of British and European parliaments that the BNP did not represent Jamaat or Hefajat.
On caretaker government issue, the BNP delegation said they wanted to take part in the next election under a non-party neutral regime. “That is why we are staging anti-government agitation to realise the demand,” Fakhrul said.
Lord Carlile QC, Lord Jenning, Baroness Pola Uddin, Rushanara Ali MP, Charles Tannock MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP, among others, spoke in the seminar.
They said both the parties had to agree to an election process if they wished that the European Parliament would be willing to send a delegation to monitor the election.
Asked about the verdicts against former Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam and its top leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Fakhrul said BNP was not against the trials, but it wanted that international standard was followed.


In Bengali/Bangla
Bhola  (Island) Lalmohon Temple Desecrated
Bhorer Kagoj
June 17, 2013  

Daily Star
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Hindu temple vandalised in Bhola

Three arrested

Our Correspondent, Bhola

The vandalised Krishna Sarkar’s Aangeena Temple in Annada Prasad village of Lalmohan in Bhola yesterday. Hard to believe the temple got vandalised over a trivial matter. Photo: Star

Criminals vandalised eight idols of Hindu gods and goddesses at a temple in Annada Prasad village at Lalmohan upazila of Bhola yesterday.
Police arrested Jasim, Mobarak and Riaz of the village for their alleged involvement in the incident, said Khondokar Mijanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Lalmohan Police Station.
Locals said the incident of vandalism at Krishna Sarkar’s Aangeena Temple happened following a row over a cow’s ruining vegetables.
In the morning, Oli Bepari’s cow entered the garden of Niranjan Das, brother of Kiran Chandra Das, and started flattening the okra plants.
Niranjan’s wife Jharna Rani Das, 30, rushed to the field and drove away the cow, which angered Oli. A furious Oli then beat up his neighbour Jharna.
When Kiran, priest of the temple, protested the incident of beating, Oli led a gang of miscreants, including his sons Riaz, Siraj, Mosarraf and Mobarak, for vandalising the idols at 2:00pm, witnesses said.
The criminals also attacked Kiran and his family members with sticks, leaving Birangini Baishnab, 75, and Babita Rani, 30, injured.
Birangini, Babita and Jharna were admitted to Lalmohan Upazila Health Complex.
Joyhind Chandra Chandra, president of Lalmohan Puja Udjapan Parisad, alleged that a dispute over a piece of land might have triggered the incident of vandalism of idols.
Filing of a case was under process, OC Mijanur Rahman said.

Daily Star

Friday, May 31, 2013


Outrage against a Hindu temple

Govt should act decisively

ELEMENTS out to destroy communal harmony have again attacked a 150-year-old Himdu temple at Hossainpur upazila in Kishoreganj damaging idols of deities in it. This is the latest act of vandalism in series of assaults on places of worship of the Hindus and other minority communities since February this year.

Distressingly, miscreants behind the outrage are yet to be identified, far less nabbed and brought to justice.

The incident falls into a pattern. The evil quarters behind such despoiling of Hindu temples are trying to terrorise and create a sense of insecurity among Hindus and other minority religious groups.

After each such act of outrage, committees were formed by the administration to home in on and arrest the miscreants. But precious little could be done so far to stop these acts of barbarity against minority communities from happening. It is a very sad commentary on an administration that prides itself in being avowedly secular.

Notably, it is not just a matter of constitutional duty for the government to protect all its citizens including the minority groups. In fact, to be called a civilised society, we can ill-afford to abdicate this sacred responsibility.

The government cannot any more just watch, while the scandalous attacks against religious minorities continue. For effectively addressing the issue, the government needs to expeditiously implement last month’s High Court Order to form a high-powered body to conduct investigations into these incidents and prepare a comprehensive report within the time line indicated.

Daily Star

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hindu temple vandalised in Kishoreganj

Our Correspondent, Kishoreganj

Century old idols of a Krishna temple at Kuleshwari Bari in Hossainpur of Kishoreganj lay in ruins after criminals attacked the temple Tuesday night. Photo: Banglar Chokh

Fanatics vandalised nine idols at 150-year-old Kuleswari temple at Hossainpur upazila of Kishoreganj early yesterday.
Ranjit, a caretaker of the temple, said “I found the idols broken when I went to the temple around 5:00 am, and saw the fragmented idols strewn all over the place.”
Locals said the Hindus have been offering prayers at the temple for around 150 years, but no incident of vandalism had occurred inside the temple in the past.
Prodip Kumar, chief of the temple committee, blamed some unidentified criminals for vandalising the idols.
Md Siddikur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Kishoreganj, and Md Anwar Hossain Khan, superintendent of police of the district, visited the spot.
They assured the local Hindus that the hunt was on to nab the fanatics.
Criminals have vandalised and torched more than 28 temples, 175 houses and dozens of shops of Hindus across the country since Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death in a war crimes case on February 28.


In Bangla/Bengali

Singra (Nator, North Bengal) 
Lakhsmi Mandir of Adibashis (tribals) desecrated
Bhorer Kagoj
May 15, 2013

In Bangla/Bengali
HariSabha Mandir (temple) torched in Ramganj
Bhorer Kagoj
May 13, 2013

The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh
SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 2013

EDITORIAL: Attack on temples continues

WE are outraged by a group of criminals torching a 200-year-old Hindu temple at Rajoir upazila in Madaripur. This adds to a long list of places of worship coming under assault since the pronouncement of capital sentence to Saydee on February 28. As many as 94 Hindu temples have been attacked in March alone.

Attack on temples is the worst of crimes that anyone can commit because it is a direct assault on the values of a pluralistic society whose inner strength lies in communal harmony, coexistence and peaceful pursuit of one’s religion. Respect for other faiths, their places of worship and symbols is anchored in our cultural heritage and therefore is a prized object for us. The wave of violence on Hindu community has come about on a scale that is unprecedented and therefore so worrying.
It is undoubtedly the state’s responsibility to protect minorities, their places of worship and ways of life. But that this government did not foresee it coming and has been somewhat caught unawares is indefensible. Also incomprehensible is the local administrations’ failure to throw security rings around potentially vulnerable minority community pockets in the country. The government has ‘failed to discharge its constitutional obligation to protect the minority’.

The High Court rule on April 4 directing the government to form a high powered committee to investigate recent incidents of violence and attack on religious minorities and submit a comprehensive report in three months should be acted upon in all seriousness. A part of the ruling, however, related to government having been directed to submit a report in two weeks on the initiatives taken after the attacks. Has it been complied with?
In specific terms, the incidents are a collective shame, and with the government failing to protect them, it is highly imperative for the people to come forward and stand by the minorities at their hour of need.

While it falls on the government to protect minorities, the majority community is obligated to keep tab on the local situations and foil any attempt by fanatical elements and other vested quarters who are always up to angling in troubled waters. To this end, the clarion call by the rights activists and the political leaders for building impregnable national unity to prevent recurrence of communal violence acquires a resounding relevance.
In Bangla/Bengali
Kali Temple (of Black Mother Goddess) Attacked in Rajoir, Madaripur District
Bhorer Kagoj
Apr 21 2013
In  Bengali/Bangla
Hindu Temple Attacked in Feni and ChapaiNababGanj (Bangladesh)
Bhorer Kagoj
Apr 11 2013
New York Times  April 6, 2013

Hard-Line Muslim Rally Demands Anti-Blasphemy Laws in Bangladesh

A.M. Ahad/Associated Press
Amid heightened security in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Saturday, advocates demanded that the authorities enact a blasphemy law to punish those who insult Islam.

Published: April 6, 2013   
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Hundreds of thousands of members of a hard-line Muslim group rallied here in Bangladesh’s capital on Saturday to demand that the authorities enact anti-blasphemy laws to punish people who insult Islam.

Separately, members of the group, Hifazat-e-Islam, clashed with the police and pro-government activists in a district outside of the capital, leaving a ruling party supporter dead.
The giant rally in Dhaka took place amid heightened security in the capital and elsewhere in the country after Hifazat-e-Islam members singled out bloggers who they said were atheists.
The bloggers, who deny they are atheists, are seeking capital punishment for those found guilty of war crimes during the nation’s 1971 war of independence against Pakistan. They also want a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party, for campaigning against Bangladesh’s independence more than four decades ago. The party is an important partner of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which is led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.
Top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders are accused of crimes against humanity during the 1971 war, and two senior party leaders were convicted this year by a special tribunal. Bangladesh says as many as three million people were killed and 200,000 women were raped by Pakistani troops and collaborators during the war.
While Hifazat-e-Islam said its rally was nonpolitical and not aligned with the opposition, Ms. Zia’s party backed the demonstration. The group listed 13 demands, including reinstating “absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah” in the nation’s Constitution, which is largely secular, and passing a law providing for capital punishment for maligning Allah, Islam and its Prophet Muhammad.
The group’s other demands includes banning “all foreign culture, including free mixing of men and women.”
Saturday’s rally came amid months of violence stemming from a bitter political rivalry between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government and the opposition led by Ms. Zia. Ms. Hasina initiated the war crimes trials in 2010. Ten of the defendants convicted or on trial are from Jamaat-e-Islami, while two others belong to Ms. Zia’s party.
In February, the tribunal sentenced a senior Jamaat-e-Islami party leader to death, but the decision incited violent clashes between opposition activists and the police that left more than 70 people dead.

n Bangla/Bengali

(Black Mother Goddess) Kali Deities in Netrokona Temple destroyed
Bhorer Kagoj
Apr 5 2013


Daily Star Dhaka
Monday, April 01, 2013
Hindu temple vandalised
Our Correspondent, Bogra
Religious fanatics vandalised at least seven statues at a Hindu temple in Sonatala upazila of the district early yesterday.
Local lawmaker and Awami League ex-organising secretary Md Abdul Mannan and the upazila chairman visited the temple in the morning.
They assured the temple committee that it will be given financial compensation.
The statues at Sri Sri Gobinda Temple in Gar Chaitanyapur area came under attack in the wee hours yesterday, said Officer-in-Charge (Investigation) Md Mojaffar Hossain of Sonatala Police Station.
The OC said police are yet to identify the attackers.
Religious bigots have vandalised and torched more than 27 temples, 175 houses and dozens of shops of minorities across the country since Jamaat leader Delawarossain Sayedee was sentenced to death in a war crimes case on February 28

In Bengali

US Ambassador Hon. Mazina in Dhakeswari (Hindu) Temple
Bhorer Kagoj
Apr 4 2013


Daily Star Dhaka
Friday, April 05, 2013

Govt asked to probe attacks on Hindus

Staff Correspondent
The High Court yesterday directed the government to investigate the recent communal violence and attacks on the religious minorities through forming a high-powered committee and submit a report in three months.

In response to a writ petition, the court ordered the government to identify the vulnerable areas for communal violence and provide sufficient protection to the minorities living in those places.
It also asked the government to submit a report in two weeks on the initiatives taken following the attacks.

The court issued a rule upon the authorities to explain in three weeks why their “failure” to discharge constitutional duties to protect the minorities should not be declared illegal.
The writ petition was filed by six rights organisations, including Ain O Salish Kendra, and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, and an individual.

They said in the petition a total of 94 violent attacks on minorities, mainly on the Hindus, took place in last one month, after the International Crimes Tribunals delivered verdicts of war crimes cases in February.

In total, 187 houses, 162 business institutions and 89 temples have been attacked and looted and 133 idols vandalised, the petitioners said quoting newspaper reports.
Dr Kamal Hossain moved the petition which also said cases were filed in respect of only 33 violent incidents.

In Bengali/Bangla

2013 Hindus Protest Hindu Oppression in Bangladesh
Prothom Alo
April 5, 2013
In Bengali/Bangla
2500 Hindu Homes; Hindu Temples; Buddhist Homes and Temples torched in 35 Districts in Bangladesh
Bhorer Kagoj
Mar 28 2013
In Bengali
In 24 Days 319 temples Desecrated in 32 Districts in Bangladesh
Prothom  Alo
March 24 2013  
In Bengali
Hindu Temple Torched in Gazipur (central Bangladesh)
Bhorer Kagoj
March 23 2013


US Worried at Attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh
Daily Star
March 22 2013

Daily Star, Dhaka
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Attack on Hindus
Temples in 2 dists attacked
Star Report
This Hindu temple at a village in Gabtoli upazila of Bogra district was vandalised in the early hours of yesterday. PHOTO: FOCUS BANGLA
Religious bigots vandalised five more Hindu temples and torched idols in Bogra and Bagerhat early yesterday.
In Bogra, they damaged at least eight idols in four temples at Sonaray and Rameshwarpur unions of Gabtoli upazila.
In the morning, locals found the idols in the temples vandalised.
Shishir Karmakar of Rameshwarpur said local Hindus were worried about the attacks.
The Hindus did not disclose the names of the attackers for lack of security, AH Azam Khan, president of Gabtoli upazila unit Awami League, told The Daily Star.
Bogra deputy commissioner, police super, local AL leaders and minority community leaders visited the affected temples.
Two cases were filed with Gabtoli Police Station in this connection.
Incensed at the attacks on temples, locals in Sonaray and Rameshwarpur unions brought out protest processions.
Contacted, Gabtoli Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Monira Sultana said financial support would be provided to the authorities of the affected temples to repair the damaged temples.
A correspondent from Bagerhat adds: Religious fanatics damaged and torched several idols of Dakkhin Para Sarbojonin Durga Mandir in Uttar Gopalpur village under Kachua upazila early yesterday.
Quoting witnesses, president of the temple committee Pulin Bihari Paik said a gang of fanatics entered the temple around 4:00am; damaged several idols and set the temple afire.
Seeing the flames at the temple, locals rushed to the scene and doused the fire.
Neither the temple committee nor police could identify the attackers.
Kachua UNO Md Ashraful Islam visited the temple in the morning.
Meanwhile, around 120 people were sued in Khulna city on Tuesday night on charges of vandalising and torching temples, shops and houses of Hindus in Banikpara Pabla area under Daulatpur Police Station, reports our Khulna correspondent.
Police also picked up five people in this connection from different parts of the city around midnight Tuesday.
The detainees are Shahidul, 23, Limon, 18, Halim, 22, Shahabuddin, 40, and Shamim, 25.
Tilok Goswami, general secretary of Banikpara Pabla Sarbojonin Kalibari Mandir committee, filed the case, said Daulatpur police.
Earlier, police had arrested Humayun Kabir, 26, and Arman, 28, in connection with the arson attacks. The two were sent to jail through a local court.
On Monday night, religious bigots ransacked and torched Banikpara Pabla Sarbojonin Kalibari Mandir, Gachtala Temple and over 50 houses and shops of Hindus in the city.
Over 31 temples, hundreds of houses and shops of Hindu minorities have been ransacked, torched and looted across the country since the International Crimes Tribunal-1 on February 28 sentenced Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee to death for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.
In Bengali 
Hindu Temples Damaged in Bogura, Bagerhat, Khulna and Deities Destroyed
Bhorer Kagoj (Daily)
Mar 21 2013
In Bengali
Hindu Temple Deities Destroyed in SriPur and Netrokona
Bhorer Kagoj
Mar 20 2013

In Bangla

Murti (Deity) destroyed at Sherpur in Bangladesh
Bhorer Kagoj
March 17 2013 h

Statues of 5 Hindu Deities destroyed in Nator
Daily Star
March 13 2013

In Bengali

U.S. Congressman Crowley Opposes Violence against Bangla Minorities
Bhorer Kagoj
March 12 2013  


23 Shiva idols vandalised in Jhenidah

Star Online Report

Criminals vandalise 23 idols of Hindu god Shiva at a temple in Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah early Tuesday. Photo: STAR

Miscreants vandalised 23 idols of Hindu god Shiva at a temple in Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah early Tuesday, creating panic among the people of local Hindu community.

Some unidentified people broke into the temple at Angita cremation ground and vandalised the idols, reports our Jhenidah correspondent.

Local Awami League lawmaker Abdul Mannan, Deputy Commissioner Khaja Hannan, Superintendent of Police in Jhenidah Altaf Hossain, Kaliganj Upazila Chairman Anwarul Azim Anar, Vice-Chairman Tithi Rani Biswas and Officer-in-Charge of Kaliganj Police Station Liakot Hossain visited the spot.

Joygopal Chakrabarti, the priest of the temple, and its caretaker Sabita Chakrabarti said the temple was built 250 years back where around 10,000 people of adjoining villages offer their prayers.

They never witnessed such inhuman activities in their 30 years of career, they added.

Badal Tagore, president of the temple, demanded exemplary punishment to those involved with the vandalism.

Some people who do not believe in the country’s liberation might have damaged the idols, said Anwarul Azim Anar, chairman of Kaliganj upazila.

The local administration will take stern action against the criminals after investigation, he added.

Liakat Hossain, officer-in-charge of Kaliganj Police Station confirmed the vandalism and said he will take steps in this regard.
Broken Goddess and War Crimes Trial in Bangladesh
Sri Lanka Guardian
March 13 2013 ________________________________________________________________________________
Sunday, March 10, 2013

Safety is all they want

HR boss shocked to see extent of Jamaat terror in Banshkhali

Arun Bikash Dey, Chittagong

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman yesterday visits the destroyed homes of the Hindus in Banshkhali upazila of Chittagong. The minorities in the upazila came under attack during the recent Jamaat-Shibir violence. Photo: Anurup Kanti Das

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman yesterday said no words can describe the brutality of the February 28 attack on the Banshkhali Hindu community.
“We are shocked to see the mayhem in Banshkhali,” he said at a press conference at Chittagong Press Club yesterday afternoon.
“They burnt down government offices, vehicles, important documents, textbooks including books of Islamic studies and many other public and private properties,” Mizanur Rahman said.
Visiting Banshkhali upazila in Chittagong yesterday morning, he met the victims of the violence unleashed by Jamaat-e-Islami over the death sentence to Delawar Hossain Sayedee in a war crimes case.
“The commission finds no language to describe this brutality,” the NHRC boss said. “It is very pathetic to share the feelings after what I have seen in Banshkhali. It seems the heart of Bangladesh is bleeding.”
Calling upon the government to compensate the victims, he said NHRC would submit a report on Banshkhali mayhem.
Mizanur Rahman also said, “The religious fundamentalists want to divide us and it is high time the politicians resisted them and showed patriotism and stood by the people.”
It is the responsibility of the state to bring back safety and peace among the people, he said, adding that any sort of slackness is unacceptable in this regard.
Nirupa Dewan, member of NHRC, and Shamim Ahmed, director of NHRC, were present, among others, at the press conference.
Earlier, Mizanur Rahman visited Banshkhali Upazila Parishad, courts of senior judicial magistrate and senior assistant judge, and Upazila Krishi Office, office of Upazila fisheries officer, office of upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) and some other places where vandalism and arson were carried out.
Aminul Islam, senior judicial magistrate of Banshkhali, showed the NHRC chief the gutted record room and the custody of the court.
Suchana Acharjee, one of the victims, described to the commission the brutality of the attacks.
“They came and beat up the men, women and children indiscriminately and torched our houses with gunpowder and shouted ‘if you vote for Awami League, you would be beaten and your houses would be torched that way’,” Suchana said as she was in tears.
“We are still reeling from the shock and apprehending further attacks,” she added.
This correspondent also visited the upazila and talked to a number of victims. Rajan Das, owner of Saikat Pharmacy in the municipality of Banshkhali, is one of them.
The shop was burned to ashes along with 28 others hours after Sayedee was convicted by the International Crimes Tribunal-1.
After repeated attempts to choke back emotion, Rajan could share his harrowing experience during the NHRC chief’s visit to the area yesterday morning.
Only the shops of Hindus came under attack, he said. “They looted our shops, ransacked those and finally set those on fire.”
Asked if they had got compensation, he said, “We don’t want compensation. We just want our safety.”

The wreckage of a burnt vehicle. Photo: Anurup Kanti Das

Jhantu Kumar Das, organising secretary of Banshkhali unit of the Hindu, Buddha and Christian Oikya Parishad, said the local BNP lawmaker had not visited them even nine days after the mayhem.
“They have vandalised and torched the temples, houses and shops of the Hindus and the administration has completely failed to give us safety. Despite their massive failure, the upazila nirbahi officer and the officer-in-charge of the police station are still in office.”
He alleged the police and a number of ruling Awami League leaders were cashing in on the situation by harassing innocent people instead of netting the culprits.
“Five cases were filed accusing more than 12,000 people in this connection, but only 14 were arrested and four of them have already been released,” he alleged.
“We called the UNO and the OC in the morning requesting additional forces to ensure our safety. But they did not listen to us. The UNO said nothing would happen.”
Contacted, UNO Sabbir Iqbal said the Jamaat-Shibir men launched synchronised attacks on Satkania, Lohagara and Banshkhali. “It was a hartal day. So, we did not get support from other police stations.”
OC Abdus Sabur said they had tried their best to bring the situation under control with the limited forces they had.
Addressing the press, Mizanur Rahman said if any political party tried to damage public properties resorting to militancy, it could be banned with an executive order.
“What they have done here can be termed a fight against the state,” he said. “By attacking important structures of the state, they attacked its sovereignty of the state.”
The government should not tolerate such activities, added the NHRC chief.
In Bengali
Court Orders arrest of anti-Hindu Terrorists in Bankshali, chittagong
Prothom  Alo
March 10 2013

Canada Concerned about Violence and attack on Minorities in Bangladesh
Daily Star
March 9 2013
In Bengali Daily
Hindu Temple attached in Ronglur and Pratima destroyed in Sirajdikhan
Bhorer Kagoj
March 9 2013

Daily Star, Dhaka
March 8, 2013

Temples still under attack

HC asks govt to arrest culprits

Star Report

Fanatics destroyed an idol of goddess Kali before setting a Hindu temple on fire at Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat in the early hours yesterday.
The 15-year-old Sree Sree Kali Mandir at Bejgram village, 2 kilometres off the Indian border, was burnt down when villagers were asleep, locals said.
Hearing the crackling of flames around 4:30 am, villagers rushed to the temple and doused the fire after an hour-long effort, reports our Lalmonirhat correspondent.
Incidents of vandalism and arson attacks on temples and houses of the Hindus have been rampant since February 28.
On that day, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 awarded death penalty to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for his crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War.
Since then, miscreants destroyed at least 22 temples, 122 houses and dozens of shops belonging to the Hindus across the country.
They also physically assaulted men, women and children of the community and set their houses ablaze after looting.
The High Court yesterday ordered the government to arrest culprits, who vandalised and torched a temple in Munshiganj, in three days to put them on trial.
According to a news report of the daily Janakantha published on Tuesday, miscreants vandalised and torched the Monipara Kali Mandir at Goalimandra village of Louhajang upazila during hartal hours on Monday.
Following the report, the HC yesterday directed the authorities concerned to repair the temple, restore it to its previous situation and protect people of the minority community in the area.
The court also ordered the authorities concerned to submit a report to it within seven days after complying with the directives, reports our Supreme Court correspondent.
The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Mahmudul Hoque also issued a suo moto rule asking the authorities concerned to explain in 10 days why appropriate legal action should not be taken against the culprits.
Home secretary, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Munshiganj, upazila nirbahi officer of Louhajang upazila and officer-in-charge of Louhajang Police Station have been made respondents to the rule, Assistant Attorney General Mia Shirajul Islam told The Daily Star.
Hindu Temples Still Under Attack Hatibandha 
Daily Star
March 8 2013
In Bengali Daily
Rongpur Hindu Temple and Library Torched
Prothom  Alo
March 8 2013 __________________________________________________________________________________

Daily Star, Dhaka
Thursday, March 07, 2013


Staff Correspondent

“In this subcontinent, if we [Bangladesh] and Pakistan unite, we won’t have to care about Malaun [Hindu], atheist and Nasara [Christian],” says a Facebook post of Basher Kella posted on Sunday.
“We will name this Islamic country as Islamic Republic of Banglastan or join with Pakistan where only Muslims will live,” it adds.
The administration of Basher Kella, which is run by Jamaat-Shibir activists, also asks the followers of the page to hit the like button should they like the idea.
Through various posts, the page has been instigating communal violence in the wake of continued attacks on the minority communities over the past one week.
Homes and temples of Hindus and Buddhists were vandalised, burned and looted by Muslim fanatics in parts of the country since February 28, the day Jamaat leader Sayedee was given the death sentence for war crimes.
The Facebook page is also continuing a smear campaign, blaming Chhatra League and Jubo League activists for the attacks on the minorities, claiming Jamaat-Shibir men innocent.
Moreover, Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir yesterday published advertisements in some newspapers, including Amar Desh, Sangram and Naya Diganta, asking the government to find those behind the attacks.
Observers say Jamaat-Shibir bloggers are now coming up with stories of dginn (a type of spirit) and feresta (angel), thinking it would work like the propaganda of Sayedee’s face being seen on the moon did.
In some posts the Basher Kella administration is trying to build confidence, saying many dginns and Ffrestas are taking part in Jamaat-Shibir processions. “So nobody can defeat us.”
Last night, one Facebook user named Bangladesh Islami Chhatri Sangstha of Jamirtoli, Laxmipur, claimed to have seen a Jamaat-Shibir rally where many such spiritual creatures participated.
“In the Shibir procession, I saw faces of some participants were glowing and they were not walking, they were flying. I immediately realised that they were not human beings, they were dginns and ferestas,” the post says.
Currently, as the page shows, over 100,000 users are following and visiting Basher Kella, which the Jamaat-Shibir describes as its alternative media to give directions to activists.
On February 28, for example, the page instructed the Jamaat-Shibir men as to how they can go about the next day’s countrywide violence.
Among the 10-point suggestion were uprooting rail lines, snapping road communications between Dhaka and other district by barricading, setting fore to homes of all lawmakers and ministers, spreading smear campaign against police and attacking law enforcers and journalists.
The page also praises BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for not meeting Indian President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit.
Khaleda’s not meeting Pranab has boosted Jamaat-Shibir’s confidence a 100 times, it added.
“If she [Khaleda] continues this way, the government will fall by this month,” says a letter, addressing Khaleda, uploaded on the page early Tuesday.
In another letter, the BNP chief was asked to send her party leaders to go underground to avoid arrests.
Some posts ask followers to boycott Prothom Alo, the largest circulated Bangla daily, and private television channel Ekattor as they are “agents of Malaun” (Hindu).


Daily Star, Dhaka

March 7, 2013

Temple vandalised, torched in Lalmonirhat

Star Online Report

Miscreants vandalised idols and torched a Hindu temple in Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat Thursday morning.
Sree Sree Kali Mandir is in Bejgram village which is about 2 kilometres off the Indian border, our Lalmonirhat correspondent reports.
According to members of the Hindu community, witnesses and police, some unidentified people demolished an idol of Hindu Goddess Kali and set fire to the temple when the villagers were sleeping sometimes early Thursday.
Sensing the fire around 4:30am, the locals rushed there and managed to douse the fire after an hour.
The temple was built 15 years ago.
Dilip Kumar Singh, general secretary of Hatibandha Upazila Puja Udjapon Parishad, alleged that anti-liberation elements might be behind torching of the temple as most of the Hindu people of the village joined a rally in Hatibandha upazila town on Wednesday protest attacks on minority people and their place of worships.
A case was lodged with Hatibandha Police Station in this connection.
Upendro Nath Singh, president of the temple committee, the attack sent panic to about 120 Hindu families of the village.
The miscreants might attack them anytime, they fear.
They contacted the upazila administration to seek security.
Tapos Kumar Sarker, officer-in-charge of Hatibandha Police Staiton, said police were trying to arrest the miscreants.
Police would take necessary steps to ensure security to the Hindu people, the OC said.
Daily Star, Dhaka
March 7, 2013
Protect Hindus, AI urges Bangladesh
Star Online Report

This March 5 photo shows vandalised idols in a Hindu temple in Singra upazila of Natore.
In the wake of a wave of violent attacks against the country’s minority Hindu community, Amnesty International has made an urgent call to the government to provide them with better protection.
Over the past week, individuals taking part in strikes called for by Islamic parties have vandalised more than 40 Hindu temples across Bangladesh. Scores of shops and houses belonging to the Hindu community have also been burned down, leaving hundreds of people homeless, said a press release of the international rights watchdog.
“The Hindu community in Bangladesh is at extreme risk, in particular at such a tense time in the country. It is shocking that they appear to be targeted simply for their religion. The authorities must ensure that they receive the protection they need,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh Researcher.
“All political parties in Bangladesh should condemn strongly any violence against the Hindu community, and to instruct all their members and supporters not to take part in such attacks.”
Survivors told Amnesty International that the attackers were taking part in rallies organised by the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.
Jamaat has publicly denied any involvement in violence against the Hindu community.
The latest attack took place on Wednesday in Daudkandi in southeastern district of Comilla, where a Hindu temple was vandalised and burnt down.
One survivor told Amnesty International that on February 28, his family’s village of Rajganj Bazar in the southeastern Noakhali district was set on fire by people taking part in a Jamaat-organised strike.
“They moved into our properties and set fire to 30 of our houses. Seventy-six families were living in these houses. They also set fire to our temples – all are now vanished,” the survivor said, who asked to remain anonymous out of concerns for his safety.
He said the authorities have provided temporary accommodation to the affected families, who had lost almost all their belongings to theft or destruction in the violence.
Another survivor said that on March 2, a group of about 100 young men holding banners in support of Jamaat looted and damaged four shops in Satkania near Chittagong and vandalised a Hindu temple in the village.
Bangladesh’s Hindu minority makes up only eight percent of the population, and has historically been at risk of violence from the Muslim population—including during the independence war in 1971, and after elections in 2001.
“Given the obvious risks the Hindu minority faces in Bangladesh, these attacks were sadly predictable. We urge the authorities to take note of the violence and act to prevent further attacks,” said Faiz.
Tensions have been running high in Bangladesh in recent weeks as JI and its student wing have called strikes and mass protests against the ICT, which has found some of its senior members guilty for crimes committed during the 1971 war.
Protesters have also been involved in violent clashes with police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets or live ammunition against them. At least 60 people have been killed, mostly by police fire, but among the dead are also several policemen.
“While there are credible reports that police firing may have followed violent attacks against them by protesters, police use of excessive force cannot be discounted”, Faiz said.
In Bangla Daily
Hindu Temples and Homes torched and destroyed by Islamists in Banskhali, Noapara & BrahmanPara in 3 districts of Bangladesh
Prothom Alo
March 1 2013


Daily Star, Dhaka

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jamaat, Shibir torch Hindu temple, houses in Noakhali

Star Online Report

Hours after Jamaat top leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death, Jamaat and Shibir activists set fire to a temple and houses of Hindu community at different parts of Noakhali on Thursday