Backlash: Hindu, Buddhist, Christian communities resort to mass hunger strikes, protests in B’desh

Dhaka, Oct 23 : Mass hunger strikes and demonstrations were held in north western part of Bangladesh on Saturday against recent violent communal attacks, temple vandalism, house looting, arson and killings taking place across the country.

The protests lasted from 0900 hours till 12 pm at Saheb Bazar Zero Point in Rajshahi, a divisional city, led by Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Parishad Rajshahi district and metropolitan branch.

Leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, Sanatan Vidyarthi Sangsad, Mahila Oikya Parishad, Chhatra Oikya Parishad, ISKON and other puja mandapas of Rajshahi took part in it in solidarity.

Rajshahi metropolitan president of the Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council Sujit Sarkar presided over the programme. Acting president of Rajshahi district Awami League and district president of Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Parishad Anil Kumar Sarkar, general secretary of city committee Shyamal Kumar Ghosh, vice-president Debashish Pramanik Debu, principal Rajkumar Sarkar, district general secretary Asit Kumar Ghosh demanded strict justice for the culprits.

They also threatened to be continue their protests until the trial.

On October 21, the Bangladesh police identified the person who allegedly put the Holy Quran inside a mandap in Cumilla town during the Durga Puja which led to communal disturbances at several places in Bangladesh last week.

Based on the analysis of the CCTV footage, the police identified Iqbal Hossain (30) resident of Cumilla as the person who carried out the act. The police are yet to arrest the culprit.

The CCTV footage shows a man carrying the holy book going towards the temple after midnight and returning back with the mace of Lord Hanuman in his hand after some time. Though the CCTV camera in the mandap was not working, the footage has been taken from the CCTV camera of a nearby residence.

A photo of the book kept on the lap of Lord Hanuman was shared on social media which went viral. Subsequently, mobs attacked the temples, homes and business establishments of the minority Hindu community in Cumilla. Similar incidents were reported from Noakhali, Rangpur and several other places of Bangladesh over the next few days between October 13-16.

It was suspected that the act of desecration was a premeditated act to disturb peace and social harmony in Bangladesh. The police have filed 72 cases relating to incidents of vandalism of temples and attacks on Hindu houses and business establishments after the incident on October 13. More than 450 people have been arrested so far, including the person who first put the controversial image from the Durga mandap in Cumilla on social media.


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