Islamist’s miscreants in Bangladesh vandalized Durga Puja pandals, attack Hindus
Amid the vibrant Durga puja celebrations across Bangladesh, a string of attacks on temples and Durga Puja pandals occurred in the Comilla district and elsewhere following rumours spread through social media.
A temple in Comilla became the flashpoint on Tuesday night for allegedly disrespecting the Quran.
Local officials said that some BNP and Jamaat-e-Islam miscreants planted a copy of the Holy Quran at the feet of Ganesh in the Durga pantheon at Nanuyar Dighir Par Temple on Tuesday night.
The officials further said, “The miscreants took some pictures of this and ran away. Within a few hours, using Facebook, the propaganda spread like wildfire with the provocative pictures.”
Further, the angry mobs vandalized puja pandals and the temple.
Ruling Awami League workers swung into action along with police to cordon off the Durga Puja pandals and temples.
Religious Affairs Ministry urged to the public not to take the law into their own hands and reiterated calls to maintain religious harmony and peace.
Later, more units of security forces were deployed in Comilla town and other sensitive areas in the region.
Taking serious note of the incidents, the authorities deployed paramilitary forces to take action against the perpetrators.
Border Guard Bangladesh personnel were deployed in Comilla in the face of rising communal tensions.
BGB’s Comilla Battalion commander, Lt Col Fazle Rabbi said: “Four platoons of the BGB were deployed at noon to ensure that there is no unrest in Comilla. The BGB has been deployed to prevent any hostilities.”
The Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council appealed for calm.
“We would like to say to our Muslim brothers, please do not believe the rumours. We respect the Quran. There is no need for the Quran in Durga Puja. This is someone conspiring to create a riot. There will be a fair investigation. Please don’t attack any more Hindu temples,” it said, in a statement circulated widely through Facebook and YouTube.
But Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad General Secretary Rana Dasgupta said: “Already, temples are being attacked countrywide, including Banshkhali in Chittagong, Pekua of Cox’s Bazar. The communal threat has been spread countrywide. We are going to decide to stop music and use of mikes as a protest. Cannot stop the rituals at the moment.”
Dasgupta further added, “All of these are prejudicial acts, it is the same practice of political crime, ethnic cleansing practice, to clean 10 percent Hindu community, which increased 2 percent in last 10 years, as the government report says. It is a positive sign, which is targeted by the communal groups. It breaks the confidence of the Hindu community. We want the proper responsible role of the administration and political parties.”
The District Commissioner of Comilla said that all are fake photos floating on social media platforms.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered the criminals behind spreading communal attacks and propaganda to be identified and punished as an example.
Mohila Awami League’s Comilla Organising Secretary Aysha Zamam Shimu told IANS that “the Islamist opposition of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami are responsible for this mischief because they want a communal riot to discredit our government and cause bilateral problems with India”.
“They tried the same tactics when Indian PM Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh in March,” she said.
Awami League social media coordinator Tanmoy Ahmed expressed concern at the role of Facebook, through which the provocative messages of “insulting Quran” were spread, using fake accounts of Jamaat militants named ‘Juelpradoxical‘ and ‘Sk Media‘.
Ahmed said Facebook refused to block these accounts despite repeated complaints that these were being used to whip up communal tensions and could lead to considerable public disorder, and instead urged complainants “to use the platform for counter-speech in form of accurate information to create a safer environment”.
Meanwhile, Awami League leaders noting that Sheikh Hasina donated three crore takas for the Durga Puja, said that party volunteers have been mobilized to protect Hindu temples and “all troublemakers will be firmly dealt with”.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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