Bagladeshi Jamaat-e-Islami activists vandalize Hindu temples

Bagladeshi Jamaat-e-Islami activists vandalize Hindu temples

February 11, 2012 : Authorities in the city of Chittagong, south Bangladesh, banned public gatherings on Friday after several Hindu temples were ransacked and vandalized by Islamic extremists. Footage of the temples shows broken windows, overturned and smashed furniture, and even statues and paintings of Hindu deities thrown to the ground or broken.

Hindu-owned shops were also vandalized and looted, reportedly by students of a nearby madrassa, who had gathered following an announcement over the PA.

According to Bangladesh’s bdnews24, “Local people claimed religious bigots of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Chhatra Shibir incited the vandalism and arson of the temples from Thursday evening to Friday noon.”

Tensions had arisen, leading up to the attacks, after a group of Hindus processed through the city, Thursday morning, to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the temple at Loknath Sebasram. Muslims inside a mosque objected to the Hindus drumming, and came outside to protest. An altercation ensued, and the police later arranged for the two groups to meet to discuss the issue.

Several of the attendees told bdnews24 that while the meeting was in progress “several miscreants” vandalized the Loknath Sebasram temple as well as a number of cars owned by local Hindus.

Puja Udjapon Committee convenor Ashok Kumar Deb also told bdnews24 that a window of a mosque was broken the following morning, and rumors quickly spread that Hindus were responsible.

“Tensions mounted following a misunderstanding. Security in temples and mosques in the area has been strengthened and the law enforcers have been alerted,” said primary and mass education minister Afsarul Ameen, who visited the area in response to the troubles.

There were signs of vandalism at three Hindu temples (Sri Sri Jagadeshwari Ma Temple and Jagannath Bigroho Temple at Nandirhat and Kalibari Temple at Sadar upazila), and another (Sri Sri Jagadeshwari Ma Temple) was set on fire.


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