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HomeNews ReportsOpIndia Exclusive: ISKCON temple desecrated by Islamist mob in Bangladesh, idols vandalised and looted....

OpIndia Exclusive: ISKCON temple desecrated by Islamist mob in Bangladesh, idols vandalised and looted. Here is what we know so far

As per the police complaint, the violence was orchestrated by Mohammed Israf Sufi (31), and Haji Shafiullah (62). The attack took place on Thursday (March 17) evening.

On Thursday (March 17) night, a frenzied Muslim mob attacked an ISKCON temple, located on Lalmohan Saha Street in Wari in Dhaka Division of Bangladesh. The development was confirmed to Opindia by the administration of the Sri Sri Radhakanta Jiu Mandir.

According to the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), the dastardly attack was orchestrated by one 62-year-old Haji Shafiullah. Under his direction, an Islamist mob of 150-200 people laid siege on the ISKCON temple. They desecrated the murtis (idol), vandalised the temple premises, looted money and other valuable items.

As per a report published by India Today, three devotees namely Sumantra Chandra Shravan, Nihar Haldar, and Rajiv Bhadra were injured during the attack. Popular Twitter handle Voice of Bangladeshi Hindus shared disturbing visuals that showcase the extent of damange caused to the Sri Sri Radhakanta Jiu Mandir.

“The attack on the Radhakanta ISKCON temple in Dhaka is ongoing. The Devotees informed the police but the police are not taking any action,” the Twitter handle posted.

The violent mob was heard raising slogans of ‘Allah hu Akbar’.

A video was shared on Twitter by Hindu activist Pandit Pradip Chandra, wherein an injured ISKCON devotee was heard narrating the details of the attack.

“They (Islamists) forcibly took Nihar (name of the victim) away. I notified the police but they were not ready to believe me. After pleading with the cops several times, they agreed to look out for Nihar. Earlier, the cops denied that anyone was even abducted. We were, however, able to find Nihar in the end,” he recounted.

“While returning, they caught hold of me and snatched my phone. They threw blows at me and injured my back (He went on to show the scar on his elbow), ” the victim further added.

Opindia reached out to ISKCON temple in bangladesh

Opindia reached out to the administration of Sri Sri Radhakanta Jiu Mandir in Bangladesh to learn more about the story. A copy of the audio recording is available with Opindia.

“We are indebted to you for covering our story. If we don’t get your support (referring to the media), then, it will be impossible for Hindus in Bangladesh to even survive,” a temple official (who refused to be identified) said.

He informed that the Islamists were eyeing the temple property for a long time and have tried to encroach upon it in the past. The official said that the temple administartion had previously filed a case against them.

“Yesterday evening, they destroyed the temple wall, and ransacked our property and stole valuable items,” he informed. The temple official then handed over the phone to one of the victims of the attack, Nihar Haldar.

After a brief conversation with Haldar about the temple attack, he forwarded a complaint letter filed by another victim named Sumantra Chandra with the Wari police.

As per the police complaint, the violence was orchestrated by Mohammed Israf Sufi (31), and Haji Shafiullah (62). The attack took place on Thursday (March 17) evening.

Armed with sticks, rods, sickles and hammers, the frenzied Muslim mob destroyed the southern wall of the temple as well as the old structures. They also raised provocative, Islamists slogans with an intention to riot.

The ISKCON devotees initially thwarted the attack by closing the main gates of the temple and calling the police. When the cops reached the scene, victim Nihar Haldar went to confront the mob. His phone was snatched and brutally attacked by the mob, with an intent to murder him.

The police complaint emphasised that the mob stole ₹5 lacs worth of valuable items from the temple. Complainant Sumantra Chandra pointed out that the miscreants also pelted stones at the ISKCON temple and threatened to bury the devotees alive.

Screengrab of the police complaint by Sumantra Chandra to Wari police

While speaking about the development, HAF Directior Deepali Kulkarni said, “The week before Hindus all over the world are commemorating the 51st anniversary of those who were killed, displaced, and raped during the Bengali Hindu Genocide in Bangladesh, extremists remind us that the genocide has ramifications even today.”

ISKCON temple attacked during 2021 Durga Puja

On October 15 last year, a frenzied mob of radical Islamists had attacked the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in the Noakhali district of Bangladesh. 

In a tweet, the official handle of ISKCON had written, “ISKCON temple & devotees were violently attacked today by a mob in Noakhali, Bangladesh. Temple suffered significant damage & the condition of a devotee remains critical. We call on the Govt of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all Hindus & bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The Bangladesh unit of ISKCON had lamented that the sculpture of its founder, AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, was burnt down during the arson attack on the temple. A Twitter account (@HinduVoice_in) had shared disturbing visuals of arson by radical Islamists. In the video clip, flames and smoke were seen rising from the burnt ISKCON temple.

Spokesman Radharamn Das had shared visuals of a Hindu monk, who was critically injured after sustaining a dagger attack to his head. He also shared a video wherein radical Islamists were seen desecrating the ISKCON temple.

In a video that had surfaced on social media, a Hindu monk at ISKCON narrated, “Hare Krishna! Today, Jamaat attacked the ISKCON temple and other temples in Choumani in Noakhali. They have executed it as part of a vicious plan. ISKCON Mandir has been desecrated. They have killed one devotee outright and stabbed another, leading to his critical state.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Dutta
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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