On Wednesday (July 21), a mob of radical Islamists in Bangladesh attacked the Hindu community without provocation at around 9 am in the morning. The incident took place at Kalabari Union Parakata Bazar in Kotalipara in the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh. It must be mentioned that Gopalganj is the election constituency of Awami League supremo and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council took to Twitter to inform that the attack took place on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. DD News reported that more than 50 people were injured during the incident, including police officials. The Islamist mob ransacked shops and houses belonging to Hindus and had vowed to ‘sacrifice’ religious minorities on the occasion of Eid. The attack took place in the backdrop of a football match that was conducted in the Parakata village on July 19.During the match at the Janakalyan High school ground, a quarrel broke out between two sides about the outcome of the game.
Two days later on July 21, a heated argument ensued between 18-year-old Sajal Gain and 38-year-old Jamal Mallick. The argument soon assumed a communal turn, leading to a clash between two sides. Reportedly, the accused have been identified as Rustum Mallick, Nannu Mallick, Jasim Mollah, Faizul Mallick, and Babul Mallick (26). They vandalised shops, houses and targeted Hindu men, women, and livestock. They chanted slogans vowing to make the village free of Hindus and demanded human sacrifice on the ocassion of Eid.
The Eid festival was celebrated in Gopalganj around 9 am by attacking the minorities. The attack on innocent Hindus at Kalabari Union Parakata Bazar in Kotalipara upazila of Gopalganj district. Many injured. pic.twitter.com/RhQb8RFlzY— Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council (@UnityCouncilBD) July 21, 2021
A team from the Kotalipara police station and Bahngarhat Naval Investigation Centre rushed to the spot to pacify the situation. More than 50 men, women, and children, including police, were injured in the hour-long clash. Among the seriously injured were Jagdish Folia, Mridul Gain, Shivnath, Gabinda Gain, Ashudev Gain, Tanmoy Gain, Sushant Gain, and Ujjal Gain, Nikhil Gain, Rasmoy Gain, Bidhan Gain, Nimchand, Kaushik Gain, Pradeep Gain, Joy Gain, Animesh Folia, Samrat Gain, Sujit Gain, Vishnu Gain, and others. ASI Masud, Constables Mahasin Gazi, and Mahabubur were also injured due to stabbing. The victims were rushed to medical treatment facilities including the Upazila Health Centre.
Police, administration took the side of attackers: Victims
In a video shared by Bangladeshi Hindu activist Raju Das, an injured Hindu man could be heard as saying, “This is our school and they don’t let us play. Today, a Hindu was thrashed. They (Muslims) came here with sticks and rods. They are ever ready to kill Hindus. They have declared that they would do Qurbani (sacrifice) with Hindus. We all got thrashed and the administration also took their side…. The attack was pre-meditated.”
On the day of Eid-ul-Azha on July 21,local Muslims brutally attacked & vandalized innocent Hindus at Kalabari Union Parkata Bazar in Kotalipara upazila of Gopalganj, Bangladesh with the slogan of sacrificing Hindus.50 Hindus injured.Police beat Hindus on the side of the attackers pic.twitter.com/AH8GOkSoWS— Raju Das 🇧🇩 (@RajuDas7777) July 25, 2021
In another video that has surfaced on social media, a Twitter user alleged that the police personnel were also involved in the stone pelting against Hindus. He claimed that the police took the side of the attackers and thrashed the victims (Hindu community).
After the muslim attack Hindhus in kotalipara of Gopalganj district the police threw stones on hindhus. The victims alleged that police stood by the attackers and beat the hindhus. But this Gopalganj Prime minister Shiek Hassina’s area #Save_Bangladesh_Hindhus pic.twitter.com/FuCgGyqU9u— Killer_smile_01 (@Killer_smile_01) July 26, 2021
Protests and aftermath of the attack
Following the incident, the Hindu Coalition group in the US staged a protest. The demonstration was led by Dinesh Mazumdar, Sitangshu Guha, Govinda Baniya, Sukanta Das, Tutul, and others. They said that it was a matter of shame that the Hindus were targeted in the Prime Minister’s constituency on the ocassion of Eid. The protestors said that rumours were spread by local mosques, which in turn fuelled the attack. They informed that such strategies were used by the Islamists frequently to target the Hindu community.
Gopalganj is Sheikh Hasina’s constituency. If Hindus are not Safe in Sheikh Hasina’s area, then Hindus are not safe anywhere.We want justice for the attack on Hindus. @UNHumanRights #SaveBangladeshiHindus pic.twitter.com/kGQ23aagtM— Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council (@UnityCouncilBD) July 26, 2021
An arbitration meeting was held between the Hindu and Muslim communities on Saturday (July 24). Public representatives, the district administration have appealed to maintain calm in the area. According to OC (Kotalipara police) Aminul Islam, a contingent of police have been deployed in the area. He informed that no party has registered a formal complaint with the police.