Tuesday 16th April 2024,
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3,307 houses, 1,104 temples of minorities damaged in 4 years

3,307 houses, 1,104 temples of minorities damaged in 4 years
Minority communities’ 3,307 houses and businesses and 1,104 temples and idols were damaged in the country in last four years, show media and rights groups’ reports.
Rights groups blamed influential land grabbers for the attacks on houses, businesses, community and family temples and even thatched dwellings of the minority groups, both religious and ethnic.

The attackers are seldom brought to book, said the rights groups. They said that mostly poor Hindus become the main target of these attacks. Houses and land of ethnic groups in the hilly areas are targeted to create space for Bangali settlers.  The police and the administration have been blamed to play the roles of onlookers when houses, businesses and temples are damaged or looted. Rights campaigner and Transparency International Bangladesh chairperson Sultana Kamal said that influential elements across the political divide attacked minority groups to grab their property.  Kapaeeng Foundation executive director Pallab Chakma and Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikyo Parishad general secretary Rana Das Gupta echoed her views.

Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque said that vested quarters were out to tarnish the image of Bangladesh as a land of communal harmony. ‘We take action against criminals, showing zero tolerance to any such act’, he said. These comments did little to save the Hindus in Nasirnagar and the Santals in Gobindaganj when they faced attacks with none standing by them. Between January 2013 and September this year, 1034 temples and idols and 1618 houses and businesses of the Hindu community were damaged by attackers, said Ain O Salish Kendra.  Media reports show that since the last week of October at least 250 houses and businesses, 35 family and community temples of the Hindus were damaged across the country.  Kapaeeng Foundation, a well known group for projection of rights of ethnic minorities, said that 455 houses and businesses and 33 temples of ethnic minorities were damaged both in the plains and hilly areas from January 2013 to December 2015.

Media reports show that at least 1,000 thatched dwellings of Santals were burnt down in Gobindaganj on November 6.

Both Rana Das Gupta and Sultana Kamal blamed ruling party men of the day for theses attacks.
Rana said that the minorities always become the victims of internal disputes of political parties as well as pre and post election violence.

He said that some of the attacks seek the minorities’ ouster from the country while some occur only for looting.

Both that during most of the attacks on minorities the police and the administration remain mute spectators. At times, the police and the administrations either instigate or participate in the attacks, said Sulatna Kamal.

Mohiuddin Alamgir

New Age Bangladesh

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