Hindus globally are highly concerned and fearful of more attacks regarding official reports of attempted genocide of the Hindu minorities of Bangladesh. Reports suggest that over a dozen Hindu temples and hundreds of Hindu-owned houses were looted and destroyed; hundreds of Hindus were beaten, resulting in injuries to dozens of kids and elderly women; and valuables were looted in a daytime attack of few hours in which the assailants ran amok through eight Hindu neighborhoods; mainly in the Nasirnagar area of Brahmanbaria district in Chittagong division of eastern Bangladesh. A Hindu temple in Habiganj district was also said to be attacked.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was shocking for the worldwide Hindus to observe the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Bangladesh Hindu community (who reportedly made up about 8-9% of the country’s population) receiving such signals of hatred and intimidation. Bangladeshi Hindus had made lot of contributions to the nation and society, Zed noted. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of People’s Republic of majority-Muslim Bangladesh to take this issue seriously and urgently and launch swift action to put an end to such crimes and make sure that such incidents did not happen in the future.
Adequate security measures should be put in place to protect the Bangladesh Hindu population and both Hamid and Hasina should immediately meet the Hindu community in Nasirnagar area to reassure them, Rajan Zed added. Bangladesh police authorities named several Islamist-based extremist groups operating in Bangladesh as the main culprits for instigating the violence, including Jamaat-e-Islami and Hafezat-i-Islam. Local police have also said they have apprehended Rasraj Das, who allegedly created the Facebook post in question and whose death was demanded by Islamists in the region.
Here is a video highlighting scenes from the first day of violence against the Hindu minority community by angry mobs.
Hindu and American rights group, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) also released a statement around the horrific pogroms against minority Hindus in Bangladesh. “HAF is shocked and disappointed by the news of the riots in Bangladesh, especially occurring on the auspicious day of Diwali for Hindus around the world,” said Jay Kansara, HAF Director of Government Relations. “Religious violence in Bangladesh seemed to have recently subsided due to the efforts of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government in cracking down on terrorists and extremists in the aftermath of the Dhaka cafe attack. However, it is now apparent that the government must renew its vigilance and should direct its current investigation towards apprehending the perpetrators of such mass rioting, instead of focusing on the individual who created the Facebook post.”
HAF has extensively documented religious violence and discrimination against the Hindu minority in Bangladesh in its annual human rights report. Although, there was not much news coverage outside Bangladesh on the large scale attacks, there were thousands of tweets sharing pictures and videos from the anti-Hindu pogroms.
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