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ATTACKS ON MINORITIES

Protests continue, more temples burnt, stolen

Staff Correspondent

Political, socio-cultural and rights organisations continued with protests in Dhaka and elsewhere on Friday condemning attacks on religious minorities, especially the Hindus, after the national elections held on January 5 boycotted by the opposition.
They blamed the successive governments for giving impunity to the attackers on minority and urged the government and political parties not to use the minority community as a tool to go to state power.
They demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the people who attacked the religious minorities and to provide the victims with relief and proper compensation.
Amid the protests across the country, miscreants, however, torched a temple in Lakshmipur and stole golden ornaments from a temple in Magura on Thursday night.
Miscreants attacked Hindu localities, temples and business establishments of to Hindus in Jessore, Satkhira, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Chittagong, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Netrakona and some other districts after the national elections.
Some of the persons who left their parental homes for safety were yet to return home, reports received from the districts said, adding that those who returned expressed their fear and anxiety of further attacks.
Different organisations, individuals as well as the government have distributed relief goods among the severely affected people, the reports said.
No relief was, however, reached affected areas of Shafinagar and Ghoshpara villages under Patgram in Lalmonirhat where the locals were guarding their homes in groups, reported New Age correspondent in the district.
Most of the female and minor members of the affected families are yet to return their homes.
Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner Habibur Rahman said that they had listed the affected families and relief goods would reach the areas in a day or two.
The three-member committee to investigate the attack on the Hindus at Malopara of Abhaynagar in Jessore visited the spot and talked to the affected persons.
Unidentified attackers set fire to a Kali temple at Narayanpur village under Ramganj in Lakshmipur on Thursday night, New Age correspondent in the district reported.
No major destruction, however, happened as the locals immediately noticed the flames and brought the fire under control.
New Age correspondent in Magura reported that unidentified thieves stole golden ornaments from two idols of the Satdoha Langta Babar Ashram on Thursday night.
In Bagerhat, the police on early Friday arrested local Jamaat leader Akkas Ali at Kachubunia under Morelganj on early Friday on suspicion of his involvement in torching two temples, Shri Shri Radha-Gobinda Mandir and Kali Mandir, on January 8.
In Dhaka, leaders of Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mahajote at a protest rally in front of the National Press Club demanded exemplary punishments for the attackers.
The organisation general secretary Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, addressing the rally, blamed the government for failing to ensure security of the
minorities.
Chaired by Dinabandhu Roy, the rally was addressed, among others, by its leaders Ananda Biswas, Shashanka Roy and Bipul Kumar Biswas.
At another rally organised by Nagarik Sanghati in front of the National Museum at Shahbagh in the capital, the protesters demanded an end to the culture of impunity.
Terming the attacks on minorities ‘targeted attacks’ like the attacks by the anti-liberation forces during the liberation war, the protesters criticised the role of the government, the ruling party and its leaders and local administrations.
Brahmanbaria district Awami Swechchhasebak League formed a human chain in front of Brahmanbaria Press Club in the district town.
The Jamaat acting amir, Mokbul Ahmad, in a statement, said that the minority community was victims of the government’s dirty politics and thousands of people were homeless while the country was witnessing state-sponsored terrorism.
He urged the donor agencies of home and abroad, rich people and his party men to stand by the affected people.




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