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14 Hindu temples attacked across Bangladesh, idols broken and tossed into ponds. No arrests made yet

After the attack, Mohammad Jahangir Hossain, the superintendent of police in Thakurgaon, stated that officers are searching for responsible parties. He guaranteed that truth would surface after a detailed investigation into the incident. 

In a series of planned attacks overnight on Sunday in northwest Bangladesh, at least 14 Hindu temples were damaged and vandalised. According to reports, attackers damaged nine temples in the Sindurpindi region of the Dhantala union, four in the Collegepara area of the Paria union, and one temple in the Sahbajpur Nathpara area of the Charol union.

After the attack, Mohammad Jahangir Hossain, the superintendent of police in Thakurgaon, stated that officers are searching for responsible parties. He guaranteed that truth would surface after a detailed investigation into the incident. 

According to the reports, it is believed that the attacks occurred between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The attacks come amid pro-Khalistani gangs’ frequent attacks on temples in Australia and Canada which have left the Hindu community anguished. Now the attack on the temples on Bangladesh is also being criticized by the Hindu community. 

Hindu community leader Bidyanath Barman in Baliadangi stated that some of the idols had been damaged and others had been discovered submerged in ponds near the temple locations. Since members of the Hindu community are calling for justice, the miscreants’ identities have not yet been made public. “The attackers have not yet been identified and arrested. I demand justice for the Hindu community,” he said.

Samar Chattarjee, a union parishad chairman and a prominent member of the Hindu community, meanwhile asserted that the area has always been recognised for its good interfaith cooperation as no such horrible act had happened here in the past. “It seems as if the attacks were planned as at least 14 Hindu temples have been attacked in a row,” he added.

“The (majority) Muslim community does not have any dispute with us (Hindus)… we just cannot understand who could be these culprits,” he said. According to Jahangir Hossain, the police chief in Thakurgaon, the incident appeared to be an example of a planned attack intended to disturb the nation’s tranquilly. He also said that a police inquiry has been launched right away to find the suspects.

“This attack is the manifestation of a conspiracy against peace and communal harmony…this is a serious crime and the perpetrators will face the music,” Thakurgaon’s deputy commissioner or administrative chief Mahbubur Rahman said. According to reports, the idols’ heads, limbs, and legs have been severed. Some idols were destroyed and tossed into the pond.

Tapan Kumar Ghosh, general secretary of the district puja celebration parishad visited the Haribasar temple in the Sindurpindi area at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and revealed that all the idols in this temple had been vandalised. “This is very sad and appalling. We want a fair investigation into this incident,” he added. Meanwhile, a local resident named Kashinath Singh also demanded the immediate arrest of the accused. “We are in a state of panic. Those involved in this incident should be arrested quickly,” he said.

It is important to note that in the year 2022, Islamists attacked 319 temples in Bangladesh. At that time, incidents of encroachment on the land of 51 Hindu temples had also come to the fore. Not only this, 66 Hindu women were raped, 154 Hindus killed and 333 people were forcibly fed beef.

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