Bangladesh will not bow to communal forces, says minister amid attack on Hindu temples, Durga Puja pandals
Dhaka/Noakhali: Bangladesh minister Tazul Islam has asked the local public representatives to be alert and stand strong against those who would seek to destroy communal harmony in the country.
He made the remark at a time when several Durga Puja pandals and Hindu temples were vandalised across the nation for the past several days, leading to even the death of a devotee of an ISKCON temple.
Members of the Hindu community in Bangladesh were observing the Durga Puja festival when reports of attackers vandalising temples and pandals started emerging from different corners of the country following an alleged social media post where it was said that Quran was being disrespected at a temple in Cumilla.
“I am making a call to all public representatives at the city corporation, municipal, upazila parishad, district parishad and union parishad level, and all other institutions – be ready,” Tazul Islam was quoted as saying by bdnews24 at an event in Dhaka on Saturday.
“We must stand against communal forces. Bangladesh will not bow to them," he said.
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina earlier vowed to bring to justice those who are inciting 'violence using religion' in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, three separate cases have been lodged against 84 identified and over 1,000 unidentified people in connection with attacking and vandalising temples and puja mandaps in Chattogram city's Andarkillah and areas in Banshkhali upazila, reports The Daily Star.
Police also filed a case naming 84 identified and 500 unidentified persons in connection with attacking and vandalising JM Sen Puja Mandap in Chattogram city's Andarkillah area on Friday after Juma prayers.
"Police filed a case under Special Power Act against the accused for attacking on-duty police officials, obstructing police from discharging government duty, vandalism, and hurting religious sentiments by bringing out procession," Nezam Uddin, officer-in-charge of the police station, told the newspaper.
"Of the 84 named accused, police have arrested 83 and sent them to court in the case," said the OC.
Meanwhile, a case has been filed over vandalising six idols in Daniapara Maha Shoshan Kali Mandir at Rashunia union in Sirajdikhan upazila of Munshiganj.
Beluram Nair, a temple attendant, filed the case against unidentified persons -- on charges of hurting religious sentiment and vandalising idols -- at Sirajdikhan Police Station at 1:30 pm today, reports our local correspondent, reports The Daily Star.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as ISKCON, on Saturday said its temple in Noakhali area of Bangladesh was attacked and one of the devotees was killed on Friday, a day which marked the end of Durga Puja.
It is with great grief that we share the news of a ISKCON member, Partha Das, who was brutally killed yesterday by a mob of over 200 people. His body was found in a pond next to the temple.— ISKCON (@iskcon) October 16, 2021
We call on the Govt of Bangladesh for immediate action in this regard. https://t.co/BLwqGsN36h
The deceased person was identified as Partha Das.
"It is with great grief that we share the news of a ISKCON member, Partha Das, who was brutally killed yesterday by a mob of over 200 people. His body was found in a pond next to the temple," the group tweeted.
The members of the group also demonstrated in Noakhali on Saturday against the attack.
ISKCON along with other Hindu community members protests in the streets of Noakhali, Bangladesh over the recent attacks on the devotees and templeshttps://t.co/8SRFxWzsT2— ISKCON (@iskcon) October 16, 2021
"ISKCON along with other Hindu community members protests in the streets of Noakhali, Bangladesh over the recent attacks on the devotees and temples" the group's Bangladesh Twitter handle posted.