Shops at Okrabarihaat village market in Chirirbandar upazila under Dinajpur district lie vandalised as activists of BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and its students wing Islami Chhatra Shibir went into an orgy of destruction, targeting the properties of local Hindus centring on the January 5 parliamentary elections. The photo was taken on February 15 this year. Photo: STAR File photo
At least 50 Hindus whose shops were looted and torched by Jamaat-Shibir and BNP activists at Okrabarihaat under Chirirbandar upazila during the January 5 parliamentary elections are yet to be compensated.
The affected Hindus held a press conference at Dinajpur Press Club on Sunday, seeking financial assistance from the government to rebuild the shops and start their business afresh.
'We are in financial distress as our shops, the only source of income, were looted and torched by Jamaat-Shibir and BNP men for casting votes in the elections,” the Hindu shop owners said.
The victims alleged that local lawmaker AH Mahmood Ali, also foreign affairs minister, did not visit the area and even inquire about their condition since the January 5 incident.
“We became the victims of BNP and Jamaat-Shibir atrocities as we went to the polling centre to exercise our right to vote,” said Suranjan Roy, one of the traders of Okrabarihaat.
They victims said lawmaker Iqbalur Rahim of Dinajpur-3 constituency visited the affected area on February 15 and pledged for compensation for the affected shop owners. But none of them is yet to get compensation. They appealed to the government to help them resume their business.
“If the government does not give us financial support, we will have no option but to commit suicide' said Dakkhanath Roy, one of the affected Hindus.
Jamaat-Shibir and BNP activists attacked Ockrabarihaat at around 11:45am on January 5. They looted and set fire to at least 50 shops of Hindus at the bazaar for casting votes in the parliamentary elections on the day.