Targeted violent incidents against Hindus are on the rise in Bangladesh. Even as the world turns a blind eye, Islamists mounted an orgy of violence against Hindus. Temples were razed, hundreds of houses were burnt, scores were killed and scores were forcibly converted, women were raped and children were sprinkled with acid.
As the world turned a blind eye to the plight of Hindus and other minority groups, the emboldened Islamists continue their violent campaign against the minorities.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention to end the cycle of violence against hapless Hindus. Liberals and secular parties and dubious Human Rights organisations in Bharat chose to ignore the issue.
In his letter, Shri Adhikari stated: “I believe you are aware of the fact that communal violence targeting the Hindu religious minority community has again gripped Bangladesh. Temples, shops and several houses of the Hindu community have been vandalised in Dighalia Bazar area of Lohagara Upazila of Narail, southwestern Bangladesh.”
Shri Adhikari also wrote to External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar. He wrote: “I urge you with folded hands to kindly intervene in the grim situation and try to save the Hindus of Bangladesh. Whatever diplomatic and other means you have at your disposal, please use it to send across a message that these incidents of communal violence are simply unacceptable. The Hindus of Bangladesh are looking forward to you in this need of the hour.”
The World Hindu Federation and some other minority organisations held a protest demonstration in Paris on July 13 to try and draw the attention of the international community to the incidents. According to the Federation, 79 Hindus were killed, 77 Hindus were abducted and 95 Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam in the last six months in Bangladesh. Dipan Mitra, secretary general, World Hindu Federation, Bangladesh, alleged Hindu teachers had been among the targets. “There have been several incidents where Hindu teachers were threatened, tortured, publicly humiliated, arrested and killed by the Islamic fundamentalists,” Mitra told an Indian news daily.
According to him, nine teachers were sent to jail in past one year for alleged blasphemy. “One was beaten to death with cricket stumps. Two were garlanded with shoes in public and humiliated. In all these cases, the victims were accused of blasphemy,” he added.
According to the Federation, Hindus are routinely attacked, their temples are vandalised over trumped-up cases of blasphemy. On July 11, Islamist goons attacked a temple and shops and houses of the Hindus at Sahapara village in Narail district. The alleged provocation was a Facebook post. “Not a single perpetrator has been punished yet. There is also no trial despite the numerous incidents of atrocities against Hindus, Buddhists and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh,” Mitra said.
The demands for action by minority organisations have fell on deaf ears. “We have been for long staging protests in different parts of Bangladesh demanding an end to the incidents and action against the culprits. But the government is unmoved. So, we decided to stage the protest in Paris to let the international community know about things happening in Bangladesh,” Mitra said.
On July 15, a group of Islamic radicals, after Friday prayers, armed with petrol bombs, machetes and other weapons descended on Narail and wreaked havoc. The goons attacked properties belonging to the Hindu community. They set three houses on fire, besides dozens of Hindu shops. They lynched Akash Saha, 18-year-old student, for allegedly putting up a post on Facebook. A total of 108 Hindu families in the Sahapara village were affected.
Deepali Rani, 62, had a harrowing time when Islamists raided her home. “After one group looted all our valuables, another group came and found our door open. As there was nothing left to loot, they set our home on fire,” she told The Daily Star. According to the report, Deepali and her son Gobind hid themselves in a shed, located in the vicinity of the house, when their house went up in flames. “They could not break in as it (the shed) was locked. They then attacked the temple next door and vandalised the idol,” she lamented. The elderly woman pointed out how the belongings of her granddaughter Rai Saha were turned into ashes.
One fertiliser dealer named Gopal Saha recounted how he was mercilessly assaulted by the Islamists. He informed that he has been doing business in the Dighalia market for 22 years. “The only reason they beat me up was that I was Hindu. The accused boy’s house is far away from mine. How is this my fault? … As a Hindu, I don’t feel safe in this village anymore,” he said.