2013 Bangladesh anti-Hindu violence
|2013 Bangladesh anti-Hindu violence|
Bangladesh districts affected by 2013 anti-Hindu violence
|Date||February 28, 2013- Till date|
|Firing, looting, vandalizing Hindu temples, idols, shops and houses|
|Weapons||Sword, petrol, diesel,|
|Motive||ICT sentenced Sayeedi|
On 28 February 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Vice President of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death for war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Following the sentence, activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked Hindus in different parts of the country. Hindu properties were looted, Hindu houses were burnt into ashes and Hindu temples were desecrated and set on fire. While the government has held the Jamaat-e-Islami responsible for the attacks on minorities, the Jamaat-e-Islami leadership has denied any involvement. Minority leaders have protested the attacks and appealed for justice. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has directed law enforcement to start suo motu investigation into the attacks. The US Ambassador to Bangladesh expressed concern about attacks by Jamaat on the Bengali Hindu community.
Attacks on Hindu minorities have been the work of extremists supported by the Jamaat and Bangladesh National Party (BNP). After the Judge's decision to give the death sentence to Delwar Hossain was released, the Jamaat and BNP burst into riots against governments, as well as attacking minorities and local police. The attacks destroyed thousands of Hindu houses and temples. These attacks have been heavily criticized by the United States Government, as well as India and other peace-demanding nations and organizations.
After the verdict, the Jamaat-e-Islami took to the streets in protest against the verdict. They attacked the establishment including the police, fire brigade, disrupted the traffic and set vehicles on fire. They attacked specially the Hindu minorities, destroyed their houses and businesses, vandalized their temples and set them on fire. According to community leaders, more than 50 Hindu temples and 1,500 Hindu homes were destroyed in 20 districts.
The Jihadi Groups who are responsible for these attacks are groups that are funded by Langley and includes the more notorious Hefazate Islam, Jamaati Islami and BNP. BNP and Jamaati Islami has been funding these extremist groups. This was portrayed in an article by a Pakistani Journalist in the International Herald Tribune. In Noakhali District several Hindu homes and temples came under the attack of the Islamists. On the morning of 28 February, the activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir began to gather near Rajganj Bazar in Begumganj Upazila. At around 2 p.m., immediately after the verdict, the activists armed with sticks, started a procession in protest against the verdict. The procession vandalized the Kali temple at Rajganj Bazar and the temple near Bainnabari. Then they attacked the Hindus in nearby Tongipar and Aladinagar villages. They vandalized eight Hindu households and looted all the valuables including money and jewellery. The temple of Bhuiyan house in Tongipar village was vandalized. Six people were injured in the attacks. The violence continued in phases till the evening. Around 6-30 p.m. Rapid Action Battalion was deployed to bring the situation under control. On 23 March, Islamic extremists vandalized and looted a temple at Companiganj Upazila On 26 March, miscreants set fire in a Hindu house at Zirtali union belonging to Begamganj Upazila.
In Lakshmipur District, five Hindu-owned jewellery shops were looted and one Hindu temple attacked and looted in Chandraganj. After the midnight of 28 February, one Hindu temple has been on fire in Gaiyarchar in Raipur Upazila. The police prevented the rioters from setting fire to another temple. Two Hindu monasteries were set on fire. On 1 March, the miscreants set fire to a Hindu house in Char Sita area of Ramgati Upazila. On 11 May, Miscreants set fire on a Hindu Temple at Ramganj Upazila.
On 28 February, in the afternoon Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists attacked the Hindus in Chittagong District. In Banshkhali Upazila, the attackers set fire to Hindus houses in Dakshin Jaldi area of Jaldi Union. 20 houses were gutted. 16 Hindus were injured in the arson, two of the died. A 65-year-old Hindu was killed in the attacks. On early morning of 5 March at around 2-30 a.m., the Sarbajaneen Magadeshwari Mandir at East Rupkania of Satkania Upazila was torched. At around 3:30am the Khetrapal Temple was burned to ashes and money from donation box was looted.
In Cox's Bazar, the Jamaat activists destroyed three Hindu temples. In Kutubdia Upazila, thousands of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists gathered before the Upazila Parishad office around 9 p.m. Around 10 p.m. they set fire to Hindu temples, after vandalizing government offices and an Awami League party office.
In Comilla District, image of a Hindu deity was vandalized in Brahmanpara Upazila. On 1 March at around 11 p.m., eleven shops including four owned by the Hindus were set on fire in Kheora Bazar in Kasba Upazila of Brahmanbaria District. On the early morning of 6 March, some time after 2-30 a.m., unidentified miscreants set fire to Sarbajanin Kali Mandir after vandalizing five idols at Chapatali village under Mohammadpur East Union in Daudkandi Upazila of the district.
On the night of 28 February, miscreants vandalized a Hindu temple in Pingjour village under Chingrikhali Union in Morrelganj Upazila of Bagerhat District. The Dumuria Sharbajaneen temple under Ramachandrapur Union too was set on fire. Two Hindu houses, one belonging to a local Awami League leader, were set on fire in Banogram Union. On 3 April, Miscreants torched a Hindu temple after vandalism of its three idols of god and goddess in the same place again. In Satkhira, Jamaat and Shibir activists attacked Hindu houses and business establishments. In Kadamtala, City College More and Abader Hat areas of Satkhira municipality more than hundred Hindu residences and business establishments were looted and destroyed. The District Magistrate of Satkhira District promulgated Section 144 in Satkhira and certain areas of Assasuni Upazila. On 5 March, Jamaat-Shibir and BNP activists set eight Hindu houses on fire in Khulna. On 12 March around midnight, miscreants vandalised 23 idols of Shiva at a temple at the Angita cremation ground in Kaliganj Upazila of Jhenaidah District.
On 18 March, more than 150 armed assailants attacked and valdalised the Pabla Sarbajanin Kalibari Temple in Khulna city’s Banikpara around 9:30pm. After blasting incendiaries, they ransacked the houses and shops of Hindus in the area.
On 28 February, activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked a Hindu temple and destroyed Hindu-owned business establishments in Gaibandha District. In the evening, they vandalized some houses in the Shobhaganj Union. The Hindu community leaders complained that the attackers had vandalized the central Kali temple at Mithapukur Upazila in Rangpur District.
Shortly after the midnight of 2 March, around 30-40 miscreants, shouting abuses and threatening the Hindus, attacked their homes at Uttar Maheshpur village in Raniganj area of Dinajpur Sadar Upazila of Dinajpur District. They set fire to the homes and haystacks of 12 Hindu peasant families, as they barely managed to escape alive. At around 1 a.m. two fire brigade units from Dinajpur arrived and doused the fire. By that time, the homes were completely reduced to ashes. Jamat-Shibir activists also blocked the Joypurhat-Bogra highway for three hours.
On 5 March,the Sree Sree Shoshan Kali Mandir at Rotherpar village in Aditmari upazila of Lalmonirhat District was vandalized. On 7 March, fanatics set fire to an Hindu temple after destroying goddess Kali idol at Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat. Sree Sree Kali Mandir at Bejgram village was also burnt down at night.
In Barisal District, a Hindu temple was set on fire in Nalchira Union of Gaurnadi Upazila. The Pinglakathi Sarbajaneen Durga Mandir was vandalized. On 5 March, miscreants tried to set fire to the Guthia Sarbajaneen Kali Mandir under Guthia union in Wazirpur Upazila. On the early hours of 6 March, a Kali temple was vandalized in Pakshia Union under Burhanuddin Upazila in Bhola District. The images of Kali and Mahadev were destroyed. In the evening at around 7:30 p.m., a Radha Krishna temple was set on fire in Batajor Village under Bamna Upazila in Barguna District. On 12 March at around 2:45 a.m., two Hindu houses on New Vatikhana Road in Barisal were set ablaze by unknown criminals. Locals doused the flames before spreading. In the early hours, burglars broke open a Radha Govinda temple in Kuripaika village of Patuakhali Sadar Upazila in Patuakhali District and stole the Madanmohan idol and 2.5 bharis of gold. On 4 April, Islamic fanatics torched down a Hindu temple at Kathalia Upazila under Jhalokati District.
On March 7, an idol of the Hindu Goddess Kali was destroyed and a Hindu temple was set on fire at Hatibandha Upazila of Lalmonirhat. Early in the morning on 3 March at around 3 a.m., unidentified miscreants set fire to the Sarbajanin Puja Sangha Mandir in the Natun Alidanga Bara Pekurtala locality of Shibganj municipality under Shibganj Upazila in Chapainawabganj District. A portion of the temple was gutted in the fire. After the incident, the local Hindus were living in fear. On the night of 12 March, miscreants broke into a Hari temple in Pakuria village under Singra Upazila of Natore District and destroyed the idol. On 19 March, Miscreants desecrated idols in four Hindu temples of Gabtali Upazila in Bogra District.
On 3 March, in Lohajang Upazila of Munshiganj District a Kali Temple was set on fire by fanatics. On the same day, in Kotalipara Upazila of Gopalganj District, a Hindu temple is burnt down. Six people including a Jamaat leader were arrested on charges of torching this temple. Early in the morning on 6 March, Ananda Ashram Mandir of Fulbaria village under the Ballabhdi Union in Faridpur District was set on fire. On 8 March, Islamist extremists vandalized a Kali Temple at Sashangaon village under Sirajdikhan Upazila in Munshiganj District. On 11 March, a temple at Fulbaria Upazila in Mymensingh District was vandalized. Six idols were destroyed at Kafilabari Durga temple in Kotalipara Upazila of Gopalganj at the same night. On the night of 15 March, unidentified miscreants vandalized the image of Saraswati in a 77-year-old Hindu temple in Madhabpur area of Sherpur municipality in Sherpur District.
On 18 March, seven idols in Harimandir in Netrokona Sadar upazila’s Bobahala have been desecrated by smashing them to pieces. On the same day in Gazipur District, the attackers damaged six idols in a Hindu temple at Dakhkhin Marta of Sreepur. On 22 March, unidentified miscreants set fire to a Lakshmi temple at Gazipur Sadar Upazila in Gazipur District.
On 5 April, unidentified miscreants vandalised the Kali Mandir, Panchmandir and Shiv Mandir in Mirzapur of Tangail District. On the same day a Hindu temple was vandalized at Rajoir under Madaripur District during the clash of two political parties. On 19 April, Unidentified miscreants torched a Hindu temple at Mahendri village in Rajoir upazila of Madaripur District.
On 29 May, senior artist cum audio-visual officer of the National Museum of Science and Technology, Shyamal Bashak was assaulted by Islamic fundamentalist co-workers in attempt to purge prominent Hindus from the National Science Museum.
The leaders of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council and the Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad held a human chain at the National Press Club in Dhaka and Chittagong on 2 March in protest of the atrocities on minorities in Bangladesh. At the meeting, the Hindu leaders expressed deep concerns in the recent developments and stated that the Jamaat-e-Islami had once again engaged in extermination of the minorities from Bangladesh as it did in 1971. On 3 March, the Bangladesh High Court directed the Government to ensure security of the Hindus in Noakhali District and repair the temples and houses of the Hindus destroyed in the attacks. It also issued suo moto notice to the Noakhali District police, the district administration and the Inspector General of Police to take action against the persons involved in the attacks.
Khaleda Zia,the chairperson of opposition party BNP, also expressed her concern about communal attack on Hindus.
In India, activists of Gairik Bharat burned an effigy of Sheikh Hasina in Silchar, in protest against her failure to protect the Hindu minorities in Bangladesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party, West Bengal unit demands the central government to create pressure on Bangladesh government to protect the Hindus from Islamic extremism. In Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament, main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party demanded that an all-party delegation be sent to Bangladesh to assess the "atrocities on Hindus" by Jamaat-e-Islami. On the other hand, Muslim radicals of West Bengal stand for Delwar Hossain Sayeedi and Jamaat-e-Islami with conviction. Expressing serious concern on the continued attacks on the Hindus in Bangladesh the South Assam Bengali Hindu Association demanded the intervention of the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in stopping the atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh.
The British High Commissioner in Dhaka, Mr. Robert Gibson expressed his deep concern and resentment upon the attack upon the religious places and the recent attacks in a press conference on Sunday 3 March held in Dhaka.
On 4 March, the United States Department of State expressed concerns over the attacks on Hindu temples and homes in Bangladesh. Dan Mozena US Ambassador to Bangladesh express concern about attack of Jamaat on Bengali Hindu community.
The Amnesty International has called upon the Bangladesh government for giving better protection to the minority Hindus in the country. In a March 6 report, titled ‘Bangladesh: Wave of Violent Attacks Against Hindu Minority’, the Amnesty said as many as 40 Hindu temples were vandalized in attacks by supporters of an Islamic party. Several hundred were rendered homeless as shops and houses belonging to the Hindu community were burnt down over the past week, it said. The report gave Bangladesh's war crimes trial as the "context" to the violence against the Hindus.
At the House of Lords in the British Parliament, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi condemned the attacks on minorities and their places of worship in Bangladesh. She stated that 24 places of worship, 112 homes and about a dozen business establishment belonging to the minority Hindus came under attack. According to Lord Avebury, the recent attacks are recurrence of the 2001 attack on the Hindus.
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.
List of temples attacked
- Persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh
- 1989 Bangladesh pogroms
- 1990 Bangladesh anti-Hindu violence
- 1992 Bangladesh violence
- 2012 Chirirbandar violence
- 2012 Fatehpur violence
- 2012 Hathazari violence
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- International Herald Tribune article details will follow
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