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.
On the night of shab-e-barat, Extremists are again attacking the Wari Radhakanta #ISKCON temple in Dhaka. We are requesting to all the Hindus to play their role in protecting the temple. #SaveBangladeshiHindus#SaveHinduTemplesInBangladesh @RadharamnDas @iskcon @india_iskcon pic.twitter.com/DVLZF7yVPG— Voice Of Bangladeshi Hindus 🇧🇩 (@VoiceOfHindu71) March 17, 2022
“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.
A ISKCON devotee is brutally injured and describing how religious fanatics attacke the ISKCON Temple at Wari Old Dhaka Bangladesh. Today at night another ISKCON temple come under attacked and destoryed the boundary wall at Wari, Old Dhaka, bangladesh. pic.twitter.com/yvAimRIrao— Pandit Pradip Chandra (पण्डित प्रदीप चन्द्र) (@PradipChandra7) March 17, 2022
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.
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.”
ISKCON temple & devotees were violently attacked today by a mob in Noakhali, Bangladesh. Temple suffered significant damage & the condition of a devotee remains critical.— ISKCON (@iskcon) October 15, 2021
We call on the Govt of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all Hindus & bring the perpetrators to justice. pic.twitter.com/ZpHtB48lZi
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.
#Bangladesh— Hindu Voice (@HinduVoice_in) October 15, 2021
Video came from local sources.
Attack on Hindus continuing.
ISKCON temple in #Noakhali is burning. Radicals set fire it today.@iskcon @RadharamnDas #SaveBangladeshiHindus pic.twitter.com/ZZStYbSwE6
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.
Just few hours back today, around 500 Muslim mob gathered outside @iskcon— Radharamn Das राधारमण दास (@RadharamnDas) October 15, 2021
Temple in Naokhali and they broke Deities inside ISKCON temple and set temple on fire. They also destroyed Durga Devi in front of ISKCON Temple. Our devotees fought: many r critical pic.twitter.com/R8Rfs8H6kX
Just see how they have attacked our ISKCON monks. This devotee was attacked with dagger on his head. He fought bravely before attacked from behind. These devotees don’t fear for their life but worried about women & children’s of neighborhood.— Radharamn Das राधारमण दास (@RadharamnDas) October 15, 2021
Will world wake up tonight? @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/s2He9nKJct
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.