Post-election violence: Houses of Hindus torched in Bangladesh
Asia Observer

Post-election violence: Houses of Hindus torched in Bangladesh

January 17, 2014     Published Time : 08:42:34


The home of a Hindu family at Muhuripara of Satkania in Chittagong yesterday after criminals burnt it to the ground. Photo StarThe post-electoral violence against the Hindus shows no sign of abating as seven homes of the community in Chittagong were torched and four idols of a temple were desecrated in Netrokona yesterday.
The barbaric arson attack on the Hindu properties at Muhuripara village in Satkania of Chittagong was carried out by miscreants after it came to light that a Hindu day labourer had voted on January 5.    
"We saw a cautionary message written on the wall of a local shop that reads if any Hindu member goes for voting, all the houses of the community will be torched," voter Haradhan told our district correspondent.
He added "I was the lone member in the community who had gone only to see the polling centre. Then the local union parishad member persuaded me to cast my vote and I did."    
The attack started by setting fire to the house of Haradhan around 250am. It soon spread to six other houses of Haradhan's neighbours before locals doused the flames.
Pinki Das, a housewife of the village, said, "We were asleep when criminals set Haradhan's house on fire. All of a sudden, my husband's cell phone started ringing.
"After receiving the call, I found no one was responding from the other end. At that time, I also heard a lot of noise coming from outside."
Sensing that something went wrong, she came out of her house and found that her neighbours' homes were burning by the raging blaze.


However, Pinki's house was saved as the locals managed to douse the flames soon. Fire fighters reached the spot at 430am only to see the blaze was contained.
Shahadat Hossain, station officer of Satkania Fire Service Station, said the fire damaged the property worth Tk 4 lakh.
Shariful Islam, upazila nirbahi officer of Satkania, said none of the houses of Hindus was attacked in Satkania soon after the election.
Yesterday's incident required investigation to ascertain whether it happened as post-election consequences, he added.
Different organisations staged protests in Chittagong city yesterday, protesting the attack on Hindus in Satkania.
In Netrokona, four idols of Harulia Kali Mandir in Barhatta upazila were damaged by miscreants in the wee hours of yesterday morning.
President of the temple committee Pronab Chandra Ghosh told our district correspondent that the idols were newly built and kept on the temple premises to dry them up.
"Four masked criminals entered the temple premises after midnight and desecrated the idols in front of me and ran away," he said.
Meanwhile, the Hindus of Gopalpur village in Thakurgaon had urged the government to reach a permanent solution regarding security threats on their lives.
Niranjan Barman, a local fisherman, told our district correspondent that he was assessing the long term practicability of continuing his livelihood in the village.
"Now we are getting media attention, we have adequate security. What will happen when the spotlight will die down," he questioned.
However, the Hindus of Malopara village in Abhaynagar of Jessore were making efforts to lead a normal life, forgetting the horror of attack on their properties, our district correspondent reported.
The village, which was without power earlier, had been brought under the network of power grid to ensure security of locals.
Dirt paths were also being covered with tarmac to diminish remoteness of the Hindu village.
Meanwhile, civil rights activists began a long march towards Malopara from Madaripur yesterday morning, protesting the recent attack on Hindus.


Source - The Daily Star, http//www.thedailystar.net/seven-houses-of-hindus-torched-7256

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