Some of the Hindus, affected during Jamaat-Shibir men's vandalism and looting on October 27 last year, pose in front of a repaired shop at Shafinagar village in Bawra union under Patgram upazila under Lalmonirhat district on Monday. Several other victims, however, are yet to repair their shops and houses, damaged during the attack, for want of money. PHOTO: STAR
Many Hindus at several villages in the district are still struggling to resume their usual earning as attackers belonging to Jamaat-Shibir and BNP destroyed their shops and houses during the last couple of months.
However, deployment of police at the affected places recently brought back a sense of security among the minority people.
“I became helpless after Jamaat-Shibir men damaged and looted my grocery shop on October 27 last year. Finally I have repaired the shop with Tk 50 thousand that I took as loan from a local NGO last week,” said Ranjit Chandra Sen at Shafinagar village of Bawra union in Patgram upazila under the district.
“I have also borrowed one lakh taka from my close relatives for purchasing grocery items for the shop. I didn't get any help from the government for rehabilitation," he said.
“I have repaired my shop with Tk 60 thousand taken as loan from a local NGO but I am yet to manage the capital to purchase goods to run my electrics business here,” said Krishna Chandra Pal at the same village.
Around half of the 18 affected Hindu families at Shafinagar village are yet to repair their damaged shops and resume business for want of money.
However, they can now move freely and sleep without fear at night as a temporary police camp was set up there after the January 5 parliament election, they said.
"Jamaat-Shibir men even some identified BNP men and criminals went into hiding from the village after setting up of the police camp for ensuring security of the Hindus and resist any criminal activities.," said Amiruzzaman, OC of Patgram Police Station.
A 10-member team led by Dr Nim Chandra Bhoumik, senior vice president of Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad, visited affected Hindu houses at Shafinagar, Ghoshpara and Bawra villages of Patgram upazila and Satpatki Majhipara village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila on Sunday.
He encouraged the Hindus to remain united against all odds and assured them that he will appeal to the government for giving all kinds of support for rehabilitation of the affected families, said several Hindus at Shafinagar village.