Hindus and Muslims organize demonstrations; police reserve more than 4,000 people for clashes

After the attacks on the Hindu community in Bangladesh during Saturday’s violence that erupted in the capital of Dhaka and Chittagong following a social media image showing the Quaran being laid off from Durga, a Hindu temple has been vandalized during the new community unrest when at least 2 Hindus and 4 Muslims died in the clash.

In addition to vandalizing pandals in Durga Puja, protesters also targeted temples, including that of the notorious ISKCON community during Friday’s violence. The clashes left at least 40 people, including officer in charge Nizamuddin of Feni Model police station, injured according to reports.

More than 10,000 protesters took to the streets outside the main mosque in the capital Dhaka after Saturday night’s clashes with police. The Muslim majority crowd gathered to protest the image of blasphemy were heard chanting “Down with the enemies of Islam” and “Hang the guilty”.

“We call on the government to stop those who defamed the Quran by putting it at the feet of an idol in Cumilla,” Mosaddek Billah Al Madani, president of the Islamic Movement of Bangladesh, reported the Dhaka Tribune.

Meanwhile, at a nearby intersection, around 1,000 Hindus protested against attacks on temples and the murder of two Hindu worshipers in another neighborhood where several temples were vandalized by Muslim crowds.

Dhaka police are said to have booked more than 4,000 named and unnamed protesters after clashes erupted between security forces and protesters. The cases were filed at three police stations in the city – Paltan, Ramna and Chawkbazar – for vandalism, assault on security personnel and obstructing government duties, officials said.

On Saturday evening, authorities deployed additional police forces and the paramilitary force – Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), after several Hindu-owned temples and businesses were vandalized and robbed in clashes that lasted from 4.30 p.m. local) at midnight, according to the report. .

Meanwhile, in the southeastern port city of Chittagong, the Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist Christian Unity Council has announced a sit-in and hunger strike starting October 23 to protest the attacks during Durga Puja celebrations.

Following the incidents of vandalism and unrest in the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pledged to bring those responsible for the violence to justice, claiming that anyone involved in the attacks on Hindu temples and Durga Puja sites in Comilla will not be spared.

Meanwhile, ISKCON Kolkata Vice President Radharaman Das condemned the attack on the ISKCON temple in Bangladesh and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold talks with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to put end of cycle of violence.

(with source inputs)

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Posted on: Sunday October 17, 2021 6:21 PM IST

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