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Bangladesh crisis: Islamists vandalise four more Hindu idols in Gazipur

In a fresh attack on Hindus in Bangladesh, at least 15 people, including a freedom fighter and three women were beaten up in a hate attack in in Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat on Friday night.

In another incident, Islamists vandalised four idols by setting fire to a temple in Sadar upazila of Gazipur district on Friday.

According to a Daily Star report, a gang of 10 in Lalmonirhat went to the house of freedom fighter Amulya Chandra Roy, 62, around 9:00 pm on Thursday and started beating him indiscriminately. As his family members and neighbours went to his rescue, they too were badly beaten up and had to be admitted to a local hospital.

The attackers fled the scene quickly.

None of the victims or community leaders would say anything about the attackers.

Although the victims restrained from revealing who were the attackers, some locals said the neighbourhood is surrounded by Jamaat strongholds and that Jamaat-Shibir men had a hand in the attack.

Abu Bakkar Siddique Shyamol, an aide to Motahar Hossain, state minister for primary and mass education and local lawmaker, said the anti-Liberation forces might have been behind the attack to create panic among the Hindu community.

The ruling Awami League would bear the medical expenses of those injured, he added.

Reports also claim that the temple which was torched was a Laxmimata temple in Sadar upazila and four idols were damaged in the arson attack. Locals rushed to the scene and put out the blaze before it could wreak more damage.

Meanwhile, the Shahbagh protesters on Thursday declared a series of programmes, including a torch rally, marking the black night of March 25, 1971 and the Independence Day.

According to reports, representative of the Gonojagoron Mancha and Convener of Blogger and Online Activists Network Imran H Sarker urged the people to make the programmes successful.

He also warned of tougher programmes if the process to ban Jamaat-Shibir does not commence by their earlier deadline of March 26.

As per the announcement, torch processions will be brought out all over the country on Monday at 7:00pm in memory of the black night of 1971, when the Pakistani occupation army launched a crackdown on unarmed Bangalees.

The organisers of the movement also called upon all educational institutions to hold discussions on the nation’s struggle for independence on March 25.

On the day, the protesters will hold cultural programmes, bring out silent procession from Projonmo Chattar at Shahbagh which would march past the Central Shaheed Minar and end at the Jagannath Hall martyrs grave on Dhaka University campus. They will light candles there.

The next morning, the protesters will place floral tributes at National Mausoleum in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, marking the 42nd Independence Day of Bangladesh. They will hold a grand rally at Projonmo Chattar at 4:00pm and release 42 sky lanterns in the evening.

The month-long signature campaign at Shahbagh ended on Friday with over 17 lakh signatures collected in Dhaka alone pressing for a six-point demand of the Gonojagoron Mancha. The demands include capital punishment to war criminals and banning of Jamaat-Shibir

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