Bangladesh says attacks on Durga Puja marquees pre-planned, ISKCON moves UN saying minorities ditched in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said the attacks on Hindu temples including Durga Puja arcades were "pre-planned and aimed at destroying communal harmony" in the country, even as the ISKCON - colloquially known as the Hare Krishna movement - moved the United Nations requesting its chief Antonio Guterres to issue a condemnation and send a delegation to Bangladesh

Oct 18, 2021
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Attacks on Durga Puja marquees pre-planned

Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said the attacks on Hindu temples including Durga Puja arcades were "pre-planned and aimed at destroying communal harmony" in the country, even as the ISKCON - colloquially known as the Hare Krishna movement - moved the United Nations requesting its chief Antonio Guterres to issue a condemnation and send a delegation to Bangladesh.

In a sudden eruption of communal tension in Bangladesh, that many feared could adversely impact bilateral ties,  four people were killed and several others – including police personnel – sustained injuries as "miscreants" vandalized Hindu temples, businesses, and houses of members of the community in Noakhali district after an alleged blasphemous incident during the annual festivities linked to the worship of Hindu goddess Durga in Comilla, about 100 km southeast of Dhaka.

The violence later spilled over to other cities and districts of Bangladesh.

In his letter, the ISKCON Vice-President has condemned the global silence on the issue and claimed that the world has ditched the minorities living in Bangladesh.

Speaking to Republic TV, Radharamn Das said that United Nations and the United Nations Human Rights Commission are supposed to stand with the minorities when they are attacked. Apart from the UN, the ISKCON has also reached out to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to talk to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

ISKCON devotees have decided to protest against the violence across the world, especially in front of prominent places like the White House and the United Nations.

International devotees at an ISKCON temple in the Noakhali district of southeastern Bangladesh were violently attacked by a mob, during which many devotees suffered injuries and the temple property was damaged.

A sculpture of ISCKON founder AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was also burnt down by the goons, it said.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Home Minister was also quoted as saying that the act was motivated and instigated by a vested group, reported Dhaka Tribune. The statement came after Bangladesh Police booked over 4,000 people in connection with the communal violence that led to the death of six people.

"Not only in Comilla, but attempts were also made to destabilize the country previously through communal violence in Ramu and Nasirnagar," Khan said. He further assured that the reason behind such acts will be made public soon and those involved in it will be given exemplary punishment.

There have been protests in some parts of India against the attack on the ISKCON temple in Bangladesh.

The incident led to an exchange of diplomatic notes between New Delhi and Dhaka, with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urging India to ensure there was no "disturbance" that could have repercussions in her country.

The Hindus, comprising about ten percent of the population in Bangladesh, constitute the largest minority community.  The four-day biggest Hindu festival in Bangladesh – the worship of goddess Durga or Durga Puja – ended on Friday. According to knowledgeable, over 31,000 community Durga pujas are organized in Bangladesh, with the violence confined initially to four or five community pujas in Comilla district. 

The killings happened in the Chowmuhani area of Begumganj sub-district in Noakhali after the Friday prayers at mosques. The Associated Press reported that violence was also reported from Dhaka on Friday, as thousands of people protesting against the alleged blasphemy clashed with police in the country’s capital.

(SAM)