Sri Kushal Baran Chakrabarty, assistant professor at the University of Chittagong and president of Sanatan Vidyarthi Samsad (SVS), provides an overview of the Bangladesh violence during Durga Puja in 2021.
On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, during the Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the traditional Hindu community, on the banks of the Nanuwar Dighi in Comilla, the heinous incident was inaugurated by placing the holy book of Muslims on the idol of Lord Hanuman in the puja mandapa.
The issue was published on Facebook Live to provoke the general public. As a result, thousands of extremist, fundamentalist groups vandalized the temple in Comilla and dumped it in a nearby pond. At the same time, horrific incidents of vandalism, arson, looting, murder, and other atrocities against ordinary Hindus, including Hindu idols, temples, houses, and shops, began all over the country.
Extremist, fundamentalist groups, wreaked havoc in Chandpur, Chittagong, Noakhali, Hatiya, Sirajgonj, Rangpur, Chapainawabganj, Laxmipur, Moulvibazar, Sylhet, Bandarban, Feni, and many other districts.
Sudhin Chandra Saha in Comilla, School teacher Manik Saha in Chandpur, and another Joton Saha, in Noakhali, were killed.
This is how the Hindu community has been subjected to one heinous attack after another. Following this, extremists carried out attacks, vandalism, arson, looting, and infernal killings at the ISKCON temple, Ramthakur ashram, and the Loknath Bramhachari ashram in Noakhali.
Pranta Dash of ISKCON died in it. The extremists also tried to attack JMSen Hall in the port city of Chittagong. Idols of several temples, including Kali Mandir, were vandalized and set on fire in the Feni district. Hindu shops were also looted and set on fire.
Immediately after this, the extremists started attacking the Hindu village in Pirganj of Rangpur at midnight. Over 100 Hindu homes were set ablaze. In addition to their cattle, cows, and goats, valuables of the house, gold ornaments, cash, etc., were looted by the extremists.
Each attack began on October 13 and continued to target the Hindu community across the country. The injured person Dilip Das died at the hospital on October 21 and many more injured are fighting to the death.
According to the most recent estimates, over 500 idols and temples have been destroyed in recent days due to attacks, arson, and looting. Besides, about 147 houses and businesses of Hindus were vandalized and set on fire.
The victim of the tragic communal violence in Chandpur Hajiganj Durga Puja with families, a victim, said, “Here’s The sacred temple is broken, they shouted me with nasty words at me in the house after smashing the abuse. He told us to come out, and he would burn everything with a gaslight. Big bricks hit my daughter’s legs and still hurt her legs. Get out. He added that this house would be on fire. They recited azan in the temple then attacked. The attack took place at around 12 a.m. The time of the attack said that today was not the end. There are two more days. Be more alert and vigilant. They vandalized the temple, shouted “Allahu Akbar” and chanted “La ilaha illallah…”
We Hindus are very disappointed because we have already learned that the administration’s role in many places is questionable. Even by calling the emergency number of Bangladesh police 999, the administration did not provide immediate assistance.
As a Bangladeshi and a Hindu, I want to say, this country, this land is mine. I am also a citizen of this country by birth. I also have the right to live as an independent citizen in this country. It is the responsibility of the state and the government to ensure that fundamentalists do not misinterpret my freedom.Our proposals to address the ongoing communal violence:
i. Pass and enforce minority special protection laws.
ii. Form a minority commission.
iii. Form a Minority Ministry
We are Bangladeshi Hindus. We are not safe in Bangladesh. We demand safety. The international community, please raise your voice to protect Bangladeshi Hindus.