2013 Bangladesh riots

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2013 Bangladesh violence after ICT verdict
Location Bangladesh
Date 28 February 2013 –
Deaths 109[citation needed]
Non-fatal injuries
800+[1]

2013 Bangladesh violence started on February 28, 2013 after the announcement of death sentence of Delwar Hossain Sayidee, a leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, who was accused of murder, arson, looting, rape, and forcefully converting non-Muslim people to Muslims[2] during the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971.[3]

Right after the verdict by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), supporters of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir started country-wide violence, including attacks on police, minorities, setting fire to Hindu temples, vandalizing cars in the streets, and destroying government properties all over the country.[1][4][5][6] They damaged more than 50 temples, including one Buddhist temple, and torched more than 1500 houses and business establishments of Hindu people in Noakhali, Gaibandha, Chittagong, Rangpur, Sylhet, Chapainawabganj, Bogra and in many other districts of the country.[7][8][9][10]

The fierce clash between the Jamaat Shibir activists and the law enforcement forces left nearly forty dead on the day of the verdict.[11][12] Human Rights Watch said that most deaths appeared to have been caused by the security forces using live ammunition against Jamaat protesters.[13] However, some policemen were brutally killed, and many were critically injured by Jamat-Shibir activists in different districts of Bangladesh including Jhinaidah, Chittagong, and Gaibandha.[14] The violence by Jamaat-Shibir continued for several days.[15][16] 98,000 people have been sued for committing violence.[17]

To show their protest against the verdict, Jamaat called for a 48 hour countrywide general strike starting on March 3 and their political ally Bangladesh Nationalist Party supported the strike and called for another daylong strike on March 5.[18] In order to prevent attack on the non-Muslims and police and to avoid violence, Bangladeshi government imposed section 144 (curfew) in ten districts and deployed Border Guard Bangladesh.

Attacks[edit]

Attacks on Hindu community[edit]

Map showing the places in Bangladesh where minority Hindus were attacked by the Islamist Jamaat-Shibir

.

After the verdict of Delwar Hossain Sayidee, a riot on Hindu community spread in several districts of Bangladesh including Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Chittagong, Comilla, Brahmanbaria, Cox's Bazar, Bagerhat, Khulna, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Barisal, Bhola, Barguna, Satkhira, Chapainawabganj, Natore, Munshiganj, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Mymensingh and many others. More than 1000 houses were set on fire and destroyed leaving people homeless. Nearly 100 temples were burned down and idols of worship were vandalized. 2 Hindus died due to injuries in the violence.[19][20] Although, there was local reporting of the anti-Hindu atrocities, there was little to no exposure from international media, but images from the attacks continued to be spread on social media.[21]

Buddhist houses and temples were also reported to be vandalized and attacked.

Other attacks[edit]

Jamaat-Shibir men have torched and vandalized trains, buses, other vehicles and shops throughout the country.[22] They gauged out one eye of a policeman and hacked him indiscriminately to death at Sanatanpur police camp under Harinakundo upazila in Jhinaidah on March 3.[23] They have also attacked and killed policemen and taken away firearms from them.[24][25] At least seven cops have been killed in the violence.[24] The Shibir men also vandalised 12 buses and torched four more at the Al-Amin Bus Depot at Dattar Haat.[26] Jamat Shibir activists also attacked government offices, destroyed government properties, and vandalized properties of government officers.[27] They also vandalized and set fire to Awami League offices and League leaders' residences in Bogra.[28] Jamat-Shibir activists hampered public transportation system by blocking roads and uprooting railway tracks, and they even obstructed railway repair teams from carrying out their repair tasks.[28] On April 11, 2013, the supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Hifazat-e Islam left at least three people dead and hundred injured in Chittagong’s Fatikchhari Upazila, following a call made on the loudspeakers of a mosque in the area.[29]

Response[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has strongly condemned the action of law enforcement forces.[30] The chairperson of BNP, Khaleda Zia, has termed the spate of deaths across the country as "genocide" and accused the government of oppressing the opposition parties.[31] The BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir blamed the government for the ongoing hate attacks on the minorities (i.e. Hindu community) across Bangladesh.[32] On the other hand, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni condemned reports of Jamaat-e-Islami activists attacking minority Hindus and their temples in different parts of the country.[33] She said, "It is unfortunate and deplorable. The (Bangladesh) government will not tolerate any attempt to destabilize the country, or allow any breach of communal harmony."

International[edit]

Several international organizations have expressed their concern over the recent violence in Bangladesh as an aftermath of the verdict. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that both the government and Jamaat-e-Islami need to bring forces under control.[34] According to their report, Shibir and other Jamaat supporters resorted to lethal violence after the Sayadee judgment, in protest of the verdict.[35] They also said that most deaths appear to have been caused by the security forces using live ammunition against Jamaat protesters.

Recognizing the right of the people to protest, the U.N. deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said, "The Secretary-General [of the U.N.] recognizes the right of people to protest, and it's the responsibility of both the authorities and the people protesting to assure this is done in a very peaceful manner."[30]

The United Kingdom has expressed sadness over the violence and the number of senseless and unnecessary deaths that have taken place across Bangladesh during the past few days.[36] The British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Robert Gibson, said, "I deplore the cruel and unwarranted attacks on places of worship and private property." He added, "This great achievement risks being undermined by the callous and unacceptable actions of a few. While every citizen has the right to mount a peaceful protest, intimidation and imposition of strikes disrupts the lives of all citizens and hampers the operation of legitimate business. This is sending a negative signal to the international community and those wishing to invest in Bangladesh."[36][37]

In a BBC News report, Anbarasan Ethirajan wrote that "the recent violence is mainly blamed on the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party, whose leaders are facing war crimes at the tribunal. But the party - which opposed Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan - denies the charges." [38]

The Hindu, Asia News Network, BBC-Bangla, and BD-news24 post an articles describing the concerns raised by Amnesty and their appeal to the Bangladesh government to provide its minority better protection.[39][40][41][42]

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird also expressed Canada’s concern for Bangladesh.[43]

Amnesty International has expressed its concern on the ongoing violence over the minority Hindu people in Bangladesh. It has urged the government of Bangladesh to provide them with better protection. Abbas Faiz, Bangladesh Researcher of Amnesty International has said that, since the obvious risks the Hindu minority face in Bangladesh, these attacks were predictable. He further added that, it is very shocking that people are being attacked just because of their religion.[44][45]

The United States has also expressed their concern over the attacks on homes, temples and shops owned by Hindu community in Bangladesh and called government to ensure safety of its citizens.[46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Devnath, Arun. "Clashes Kill 35 in Bangladesh After Islamist Sentenced to Hang". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  2. ^ "Bangladesh party leader accused of war crimes in 1971 conflict". The Guardian (London). 3 October 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tribunal hears war crimes of Sayedee", The Daily Star, 5 August 2010
  4. ^ "Bagerhat Hindu temple set on fire". Bdnews24.com. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "At Least 44 Dead in Bangladesh Clashes". Voanews.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  6. ^ Ahmed, Anis (28 February 2013). "Bangladesh Islamist's death sentence sparks deadly riots". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  7. ^ "Hindus under attack". Daily Star. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bagerhat, Barisal Hindu temples set ablaze". Bdnews24.com. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Nine Die in Bogra violence". bdnews24.com. March 3, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Violent Vandalism of More Than 50 Temples of Minority Communities". Prothom Alo. March 4, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Jamaat unleashes violence, 35 killed". Bdnews24.com. 28 Feb 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Deadly riots follow Bangladesh death sentence - CNN.com". CNN. 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  13. ^ "Bangladesh: End Violence Over War Crimes Trials". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Another Cop Killed by Jamat: Brutality Unbelievable". The Daily Star. March 4, 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "52 killed in Bangladesh after death sentence to Islamist leader. | Opinion - Conservative". Beforeitsnews.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  16. ^ "46 more killed in Bangladesh". Thestatesman.net. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  17. ^ Hafez Ahmed. "98,000 sued for violence in 15 dists". Newstoday.com.bd. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  18. ^ Hafez Ahmed. "BNP strike on Tuesday". Newstoday.com.bd. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  19. ^ "Minorities resent ‘Jamaat attacks’". bdnews24.com. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "বাঁশখালী ও নোয়াখালীতে হিন্দু বাড়িতে হামলা, অগ্নিসংযোগ". Prothom Alo (in Bengali) (Dhaka). 1 March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "Muslims Torch and Loot 200 Hindu Homes in West Bengal (Images)". The Chakra. 
  22. ^ "Clashes continue". The Daily Star. March 3, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Brutality unbelievable - The Daily Star". The Daily Star. March 4, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Jamaat shock for police". The Daily Star. March 11, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Jamaat, Shibir snatch away firearm from police". The Daily Star. March 10, 2013. 
  26. ^ The Daily Star. February 28, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Jamat-Police Clash in Bogra: Vandalism in Nandigram and Dupchanchia". Bangla News24.Com. March 4, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Nine Die in Bogra Violence". bdnews24.com. March 3, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  29. ^ "3 die in Fatikchharhi clashes". bdnews24. April 11, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Bangladesh Rioting Over Court Decision Kills Dozens". Huffington Post. 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  31. ^ "Khaleda accuses govt of "genocide"". New Age. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  32. ^ "Bagerhat, Barisal Hindu temples set ablaze". bdnews24.com. 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  33. ^ "Bangladesh FM condemns Jamaat-e-Islami attacks on minority Hindus in Bangladesh". ANI News. 12 March 2013. 
  34. ^ "HRW calls for restraint in Bangladesh". Bdnews24.com. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  35. ^ Brad Adams, Asia director (2013-02-28). "Bangladesh: End Violence Over War Crimes Trials". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  36. ^ a b Hafez Ahmed. "UK shocked over deaths". Newstoday.com.bd. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  37. ^ "UK calls for restraint in Bangladesh". bdnews24.com. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  38. ^ "Bangladesh minorities 'terrorised' after mob violence". BBC News. 8 March 2013. 
  39. ^ Habib, Haroon (March 7, 2013). "Protect Bangladeshi Hindus, says Amnesty". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  40. ^ "Protect Hindus, AI urges Bangladesh". March 7, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Amnesty calls for protecting Hindus". March 7, 2013. 
  42. ^ "বাংলাদেশে হিন্দুদের ওপর হামলায় অ্যামনেস্টির উদ্বেগ". March 7, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Canada Condemns Deadly Violence in Bangladesh". March 8, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Bangladesh: Wave of violent attacks against Hindu minority". amnesty.org.uk. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  45. ^ "Amnesty calls for protecting Hindus". bdnews24.com. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  46. ^ "US worried at attacks on Hindus". The Daily Star. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.