January 28, 2022 14:54 (IST)
Follow us:
facebook-white sharing button
twitter-white sharing button
instagram-white sharing button
youtube-white sharing button
Committed to providing humanitarian assistance to Afghan: PM Modi at India-Central Asia summit | Will soon announce Punjab's CM candidate: Rahul Gandhi in Jalandhar | Will soon announce Punjab's CM candidate: Rahul Gandhi in Jalandhar | Veteran singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay hospitalised with Covid, other difficulties | Tamil Nadu schools, colleges to reopen Feb 1, night curfew lifted from tomorrow
Hindu temples, Durga Puja pandals vandalised in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina promises action Durga Puja Bangladesh
Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Hindu temples, Durga Puja pandals vandalised in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina promises action

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 Oct 2021, 10:13 am

Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday assured Hindu community of the country that people involved in vandalising Hindu temples must face exemplary punishment.

Her comments came as around 100 people were arrested in different districts in connection with the violence unleashed on Durga Puja pandals and temples across Cumilla following reports that "the Holy Quran was demeaned" at a puja pandal.

Teams of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been deployed in Cumilla, Narsingdi, Munshiganj and 19 other districts to ensure security during the Durga Puja celebrations. 

Hasina told Prothom Alo: "We have already taken proper measures (against ransacking of Hindu temples)."

"Those who carry out such incidents will definitely be traced out as we did in the past. Exemplary punishment will be given to them irrespective of their religions so that none can dare to do so in future," she said. 

Hasina made the comment while exchanging greetings with leaders of the Hindu community being connected virtually with the Dhakeshwari National Temple marking the Sharodia Durga Puja from her official Ganabhaban residence here.

Terming the incident of vandalising temples in Cumilla "very unfortunate", Sheikh Hasina said, "Massive investigation is going on into the matter. We're getting much information (regarding the incident). This is an era of technology and those involved in the incident will definitely be found out using the technology."

"Religion is for individuals and festival is for all and we enjoy every festival together," she said.

  The instances of vandalism at Durga Puja pandals and temples across Cumilla were reported following a rumour circulated on Facebook and other social media alleging besmirching of the Quran at a puja venue.

She called upon the Hindu community leaders, particularly those of the Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Committee, to formulate a policy to determine how many Puja mandaps will be set up across the country to celebrate Durga Puja keeping in mind the constraint of security personnel to ensure safety and security of the mandaps.

Hasina urged the Hindu community people not to consider themselves as minority people and perform their religious rituals with the same rights enjoyed by followers of other religions as they are born and brought up in the country and fought shoulder to shoulder to liberate it during the Liberation War.

Security Increased?

Meanwhile, the authorities have imposed Section 144 in Hajiganj following the violence and deployed two platoons of the BGB to restore law and order.

Administration officials in Chandpur and Cumilla formed separate committees to investigate the violence in the districts. Cumilla Deputy Commissioner Kamrul Hasan said a three-member committee has been formed and asked to submit a report within three days.

What Happened?

At least 13 temples, idols in those temples and 40 businesses of Hindu people were vandalised in five districts. Around 95 people were injured during the time.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan held a high-level meeting with the cabinet secretary and heads of different law enforcing and intelligence agencies at the ministry.

He said several individuals were identified in connection with the incident in the Puja Mandap in Cumilla and they will be arrested soon.

The home minister added that those spreading rumours on social media will also be brought to book.

In Bandarban, at least 25 people including 10 policemen were injured in a clash between a mob and law enforcers in Lama Kendrio Hori Mandir.

The clash ensued when several hundred religious fanatics attacked the temple around 11 am.

They also vandalised at least 40 shops owned by Hindu people, said Prashanto Bhattacharya, president of the temple management committee.

In Noakhali, villagers attacked two temples in Hatiya and one in Begumganj on Wednesday morning. Police have so far arrested five people in connection with the attacks.

In Gazipur city, miscreants attacked at least three temples and vandalised idols in Kashimpur Bazar yesterday. Police later arrested at least 20 people in connection with the attacks.

Human chains were formed in Gazipur and Barishal to protest the attacks in Gazipur and elsewhere.

In Rajshahi's Bagmara upazila, 10 individuals, including a policeman, were injured in a clash between a mob and the police.

There were clashes in Chattogram, Kurigram and Moulvibazar on Wednesday, where Hindu idols and temples were vandalised.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad in a statement yesterday urged Hindu people across the country to observe sit-ins at each Durga Puja mandaps today for three hours from 11 am in protest of the attacks.

Contacted, Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad General Secretary Advocate Rana Dasgupta expressed grave concern over the attacks, saying, "We will soon announce programmes protesting the attacks."

(With UNI inputs)