In the face of continued post-election violence against the minority community, Hindu men stand guard at Shafinagar village in Patgram upazila of Lamonirhat on Friday night to prevent further attacks. photo: star
In the wake of mindless attacks allegedly by Jamaat-Shibir and BNP men on the Hindus after the January 5 elections, members of the minority community have blamed the government for failing to ensure their security.
Many Hindus, who have fallen victims to the atrocities in different places of the country, think the government is not doing enough to safeguard them.
“The government has failed to ensure our security,” said Paritosh Chandra Sen of Shafinagar village at Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat.
This Hindu dominated village first came under attack on 27 October last year during the first day of BNP-led 18-party alliance's three days hartal, and then on the night before the national polls.
Paritosh and other villagers have been spending sleepless nights since the latest attack, taking turns in guarding their village.
"Police teams patrol the village during the daytime whereas the attacks are carried out mostly at night," said Paritosh.
"A temporary police camp would have assuaged our fears to a great extent," he added.
Apprehending further attacks, many Hindus in the village are sending their family members elsewhere.
“A number of women and children of this village have already been sent to live with their relatives in the neighbouring districts,” said 32-year-old Jamuna Rani Sen.
Liton Chandra Roy of Dinajpur's Kornai village, which came under attack soon after the election ended on January 5, has erased the ink mark he was given on his finger while casting his vote, fearing further attacks.
"The state asked us to cast our votes. So, it was their responsibility to ensure our security but they have failed," said Liton.
Meanwhile, panic prevails at Malopara under Abhaynagar upazila in Jessore as victims have started returning to whatever left of their homes.
Despite police patrolling the Hindu village, which was ravaged by BNP-Jamaat men few hours after the voting ended on January 5, most of the villagers are gripped in fears of further attacks.
"We were attacked because we defied threats and went to cast our votes. We are afraid of more attacks," said Prabir Sarker of Malopara.
"We do not need to vote. We just want to live where we were born," said an inhabitant of Jessore's Monirampur where two Hindu women were raped allegedly by BNP-Jamaat men on Friday.
Meanwhile, educational institutions in Thakurgaon are experiencing a decline in the number of Hindu students attending the classes.
Principal of Old Thakurgaon Business Management College SM Ataur Rahman said though nearly 60 percent of the students of his institution were Hindus, only a handful of them were turning up for classes.
"Almost 450 of the 600 students of my college are Hindus but I do not see even ten of them on campus at present," said Raziur Rahman, principal of Abdur Rashid Degree College in Thakurgaon.
ATTACKS CONTINUE: IDOL, SHOP TORCHED
Miscreants yesterday set fire to an idol of Hindu goddess Kali at Bajadubhkura village in Netrokona, spreading panic among the local Hindus.
The fire completely gutted the hay and clay made idol at around 8:30pm, an additional superintendent of Netrokona police told our correspondent.
Meanwhile, unidentified criminals torched a shop owned by a Hindu in Kamlapur village of Narail, triggering a fresh wave of panic among the Hindus of the area.
Mitun Joy Biswas, the owner of the shop, said goods worth Tk 1 lakh were gutted in the fire that turned his shop into ashes in the early hours of yesterday.