Bangladesh: Islamic extremists vandalize multiple Durga Puja pandals, three Hindus reported dead

Durga pandals in Bangladesh vandalized, Image Source: Twitter

The vibrant festival of Durga Puja ended in violence and vandalism for the Hindu minority community of Bangladesh as Islamic extremists exhibited barbaric behaviour over a Facebook rumour.

A Facebook post allegedly showing Hindus insulting the Quran went viral on social media on Wednesday night after which the religious fanatics took to the streets to vandalize several Durga pandals.

Denying the claims of insulting Quran, Shibu Prasad Dutta, the general secretary of Cumilla Mahanagar Puja Udjapon Committee, informed that someone placed a copy of the Quran at a Durga Puja pavilion in Nanua Dighir Par early in the morning when the guard was asleep. 

“The miscreants took some pictures of this and ran away. Within a few hours, using Facebook, the propaganda spread like wildfire with the provocative pictures,” confirmed a district official.

He hinted at the role of some  Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islam workers. 

Temples in Chandpur’s Hajiganj, Chattogram’s Banshkhali, Chapainawabganj’s Shibganj and Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua were brutally attacked with the Hindu devotees being thrashed. 

As many as three Hindus have reportedly been killed in the violent clash, however, the police is yet to confirm the same. 

Local Hindus took to Twitter to share the visuals of attacks

Several local Hindus and Hindu organizations in Bangladesh took to Twitter to share the visuals of vandalism. 

Sharing a video of an attack on Hindus, Advocate Dr Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, Secretary General of Bangladesh Jatio Hindu Mohajote Tweeted, “The situation is terrible!! Attacks on 150 families in Shilpara, Cox’s Bazar, widespread vandalism, looting, vandalism of Hatiya in Noakhali, vandalism of idols in municipal Kalimandir, attack Vandalism, molestation of women, 2 people have been found dead in Chandpur.”

In yet another update, advocate Chandra shared the news of the publicity secretary of Chandpur district branch of Bangladesh National Hindu Youth Grand Alliance being hacked to death. (Warning: graphic content)

Another Twitter handle by the name Jatayu Osint shared some more visuals of Islamic mobs vandalizing Durga pandals.

A pro-Hindu news portal ‘Hindu Voice’ shared yet another video of a Durga idol being thrown into the river. “Muslim mob have demolished 9 Durga mandapas and idols in Comilla, #Bangladesh. Hundreds of radical Muslims attacked this morning. The attack is still going on. Situation is still tense. Hindus are frightened. Police failed to control mob,” it Tweeted.

A Twitter user by the name Neel shared images of a brutally vandalized Durga pandal in the Chittagong district.

Ministries issue emergency notice and assure to take action

In an emergency notice, the religious affairs ministry said that it was alerted of the news of the presence of the Quran in a Durga Pandal in Cumilla, however, it urged the public to not take the law into their own hands over the incident. 

Telecoms Minister Mustafa Jabbar had said that steps were taken to pull down the posts and videos immediately. “We’ve requested the removal of more than 100 Facebook links. We hope they will be blocked soon,” informed Jabbar claiming that the ministry was in touch with Facebook officials.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader assured that the perpetrators behind the incident will not be spared, regardless of their political affiliation.

Heavy security was deployed at several locations all over the country, however, the damage and violence was widespread. Additional Deputy Commissioner (Overall) Shahadat Hossain also informed that a three-member committee has been constituted to investigate the matter further.

As per Quader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered the criminals behind spreading communal attacks and propaganda to be identified and punished as an example.

We reported earlier, how four Durga pandals were attacked by the Islamic extremists since the beginning of the auspicious festive season for the Hindu community in Bangladesh.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia