More on this story: days after a Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Ganesh was vandalized and burned down in Bhong city, Pakistan, another South Asian Islamic country, the erstwhile East Pakistan, has followed the same line of bigotry. We must give credit to Bangladesh for outdoing its former masters and taking down not just one Hindu temple, but four.
On Friday night, a group of Hindu women in the Shiali village of Rupsha Upazila in Khulna took out a religious procession from the local Purba Para temple and were headed for the Shiali crematorium. They had to pass by a local mosque to reach their destination, and crossed paths with an Islamic cleric, who registered his objections to the procession. This spiraled into a heated altercation between the Hindu devotees and the Muslim cleric. As it was already past 9PM, both parties decided to take the matter up with the police the following day.
However, on Saturday, August 7 between 3 and 6PM, a mob of Muslims launched an ambush attack on the Hindus of Shiali village. Hundreds of Muslims joined this frantic mob and entered the village armed with locally-made makeshift weapons including cleavers, hatchets, and axes. Their first target was the four major Hindu temples in the village; they were desecrated and torn down in minutes by the mob. Six smaller temples in the proximity became the next targets, and were razed to the ground as well. Idols of Hindu deities at the Govinda Temple, Shiyali Purbpara Durga Temple, Shiyali Purbapara Hari Temple, and Shiyali Mahasmashan temple were crushed to bits.
But the ire of the Muslim mob was not placated by the desecration of these Hindu temples alone. They shifted their ire to human beings and their livelihood. Dozens of shops belonging to the Hindus, including Ganesh Mallick’s drug store, Sourav Mallick’s tea and grocery store, Srivastava Mallick’s grocery store, Anirban Hira’s tea shop and his father Majumdar’s shop situated in the local marketplace, were plundered; over fifty-five Hindu houses were ransacked and emptied of valuables. The jihadi crowd also looted milching cows and other cattle belonging to the Hindus, which provided a source of nutrition as well as income to the hapless people from the marginalized community. Numerous unarmed Hindu villagers were assaulted and suffered severe injuries in this clash; many were brutally beaten when they tried to defend their shops from the jihadist plunderers.
The mayhem lasted for hours. Once the thirst for Hindu misery was satiated, the mob decided to disperse. By this time, some Hindus had informed the local police, and some had formed groups to confront the jihadis. However, Shaktipada Basu, the president of the Rupsha Thana Puja Celebration Parishad, accuses the police of chasing away the Hindus when they first went to complain to the Shiali Camp police station. “Police of the Shiali camp resisted the Hindu villagers when they wanted to chase the attackers during the attack,” alleges Basu.
Khulna Superintendent of Police Mahbub Hasan informed the media that a heavy police contingent had been deployed in the area of clash and claimed that the unrest had been brought under control. “We are working with local people,” Hasan briefed the press.
Attacks on the minorities have become a routine recourse for the jihadis of Bangladesh. On the occasion of Eid al-Adha last month, Kotalipara Upazila of Gopalganj district in Bangladesh carried out a similar orchestrated attack on the local Hindus, raiding Hindu houses and Hindu-owned businesses, and assaulting Hindus. No part of the plan for destruction was omitted in that act of mob violence, either.
Back in March 2021, triggered by a social media post allegedly made by a Hindu youth named Jhumon Das, a series of planned attacks was carried out on Hindu homes in the area of Das’s residence in Sunamganj. Das’s immediate arrest by the police couldn’t pacify the fuming mob, which targeted other Hindus who had no relation to the alleged offense, just for the fun of it. Economically deprived Hindus struggling to make ends meet were stripped of their last resources in the mob violence in Shalla Upazila.
The media’s colossal indifference to all this, and the inaction of the police in the face of these repeated acts of terrorizing the minority emboldens the mobs’ bloodlust and thirst for destruction and loot. They act upon these desires with unmatched impunity. They know for a fact that they have been made into a global victim by the Leftist platforms that shape the popular narrative; hence they have neither the fear of repercussions nor any reputation to salvage.
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