Hindus send females away | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 09, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 09, 2014

Hindus send females away

Hindus send females away

Males stay back at houses damaged by BNP-Jamaat in 4 districts

Premo Bala of Pretampara in Kornaigram of Dinajpur Sadar trying to tell The Daily Star correspondent yesterday how Jamaat-Shibir and BNP men attacked her home on election day. Photo: Focus Bangla
Premo Bala of Pretampara in Kornaigram of Dinajpur Sadar trying to tell The Daily Star correspondent yesterday how Jamaat-Shibir and BNP men attacked her home on election day. Photo: Focus Bangla

Most of the Hindu families who had been attacked since election day, have sent their young female members to relatives' homes elsewhere fearing more Jamaat-BNP attacks on them.   
Meanwhile, reportedly Jamaat-BNP men carried out fresh attacks on the minorities on Tuesday and yesterday, injuring five, burning seven homes and two temples, and vandalising idols in five districts.
Panicked Suzen Chandra Das, 60, died supposedly of a heart attack in Joypurhat when the criminals set his home on fire on Tuesday night.
Jiten Chandra Das, younger brother of the deceased, said his brother suffered a cardiac arrest seeing the house on fire, our correspondent reported.
Alleged Jamaat-Shibir men had attacked and set fire to three Hindu homes, including Suzen's, at Sonakul of Panchbibi in Joypurhat around 10:30pm on Tuesday. Locals said family members noticed their heaps of hay on fire as well but could not identify who had set the fires.
In another incident, unidentified criminals set fire to the paddy reserves of Kiran Chandra Roy and Sukumar Kumar in Shyampur village of Panchbibi in Joypurhat.

A group of people led by Chanu Khan, Jalil Khan and Dudu Khan, who are locally known as BNP adherents, attacked a Garo family in Jamalpur and stabbed five natives for voting in the elections.
Madhabi Khakshi, 43, who turned up at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in the capital yesterday, said they came under attack while she along with four others was harvesting potatoes on Tuesday morning.
"The perpetrators were saying that they were teaching us a lesson for voting for the Awami League," she said.
Four other Garos who were with Madhabi and two Bangalees who rushed there to their rescue were also injured.  
Unidentified criminals vandalised three idols of Kali, a Hindu goddess, and set fire to the temple at Bottola of Kalmakanda upazila in Netrakona early yesterday.
Police and members of the Hindu community said the temple was in the village where 150 Hindu families resided.
Another group of unidentified criminals, allegedly comprising Jamaat-BNP men, set fire to a temple inside one Mohindranath's home in Jhargaon of Thakurgaon around 3:00am yesterday.
Locals doused the fire and police went to the spot and calmed the panicked Hindu families.
Straw heaps belonging to four Hindus were set on fire at Deeghalgram in Singra upazila of Natore around 11:30pm Tuesday.  
Gourpado Pramanik, one of the Hindus, said most of the Hindu voters in the village had voted in the 10th parliamentary elections. Angry Jamaat-BNP men might have set fire to their hay heaps, he added.
WOMEN-FREE VILLAGES
Most Hindu families in Abhaynagar of Jessore, Dinajpur, and Thakurgaon have sent their young female members away to stay with relatives fearing further attacks. They had even received threats that their women would be raped.
With the chilly weather of early January, many of the families were seen trying to stay warm lighting fires in their front yards. They had lost their warm clothes in the arson attacks immediately after the polls.   
Our Jessore correspondent revisited Malopara at Abhaynagar yesterday and found only male members of the Hindu families guarding their homes.
Despite assurances of security from law enforcers, who have set up a temporary camp in the locality, the Hindus clearly did not have faith in their presence.
According to villagers, up to 300 female members of the fishermen's village are now staying away from Abhaynagar, where alleged Jamaat-BNP men carried out an attack on election day.
Dulal Biswas, 65, who lost everything as the perpetrators looted and burnt his house down, sent two of his daughters aged between 14 and 20 to a relative's house.
“One of my daughters is doing her undergraduate studies and three others are also studying. We can't take the risk of keeping them here for the near future,” Biswas said.  
Pollad Barman of the same village said all women of their home had been sent to their relatives' houses. “We are living in extreme fear and anxiety … and there is more to fear after sunset,” said Pollad.
Nirmal Barman said, “The perpetrators are still threatening us with more attacks when the law enforcers leave.”
Our Dinajpur correspondent revisited the villages attacked after Sunday's elections and found the villagers in extreme hardship. Many of the villagers are labourers who are now fearful of getting beyond their villages to find work.
“We are not going outside our village and our relatives are also not visiting us,” said Dharani Kumar Roy of Pretampara, a locality of Kornai in Dinajpur.
Shops and other businesses owned by the small community of the minority Hindus have remained closed since the attack.
Subasi Bala, who ran a tea stall at Kornai Bazar, was found sitting near her burnt down tin-roofed shop. “Police are here, they gave me a blanket and I am getting daily meals, but I am still in panic,” Subasi Bala said.   
Nearly 250 Hindu families of Beradanga in Gaibandha have been passing their days fearing further attacks from BNP-Jamaat men.
When The Daily Star correspondent visited the area, locals spoke of the dilemma they were in. “We are really undone here as we face pressure from both groups. One group issued threats that we should not vote while another group asked for votes,” said Madhab Chandra, a shopkeeper of Beradanga Bazar.

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