‘A conspiracy to destroy communal harmony’
Several social organisations and political parties yesterday condemned the attack on and vandalism of Hindu temples and idols across the country, following reports of "demeaning the Holy Quran" in Cumilla.
Their observation was that the incident was orchestrated and part of an intricate conspiracy.
The organisations issued different statements, where they said the attack was carried out intentionally to destroy communal harmony. All of them urged the government to immediately identify the perpetrators and ensure exemplary punishment for them.
Three people were killed and many injured on Wednesday, after a mob and police clashed in Chandpur's Haziganj upazila, while violence erupted in several districts on this issue. There were clashes in Cumilla, Chattogram, Kurigram and Moulvibazar, where Hindu idols and temples were vandalised amid Durga Puja festivities.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam Selim and General Secretary Mohammad Shah Alam wrote in a statement that the attack happend because justice was not ensured for previous such incidents.
"The story of demeaning the Holy Quran is an intricate conspiracy to destroy communal harmony. We have seen such attacks, which were triggered by rumors, previously," the statement wrote.
Ain O Salish Kendra [ASK] expressed deep concern in this regard. They said, religious leaders should take responsible roles after such incidents, but they are not doing so. Their [leaders] speeches sometimes encourage communal violence.
"Those who are involved in such incidents, are challenging religious solidarity, the constitution, human rights and the government's commitment," wrote the statement, signed by ASK Executive Director Golam Monowar Kamal.
Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council demanded immediate arrest of the attackers and trying them under the Speedy Trial Tribunal.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad also termed the incident a "conspiracy" and demanded a speedy and neutral investigation.
Sammilita Samajik Andolon, a united movement of different social and non-government organisations, demanded hard steps against oppression of minorities. They urged the government to protect temples, and in turn, lives.
Sommilito Sangskritik Jote, Shujan, Basad and some other organisations also expressed their concerns.
Meanwhile, a protest rally along with a human chain was organised in Barishal city over the incident. The programme was held in front of Ashwini Kumar Hall, reports our Barishal correspondent.
Members of Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal, Udichi Shilpi Gosthi Barishal, Bangladesh Students Union Barishal and Barishal Rickshaw-Van Driver Workers Union took part in the event.
BNP ACCUSES GOVT OF DESTROYING COMMUNAL HARMONY
BNP yesterday alleged that the government is trying to destroy communal harmony in the country.
"The government has completely failed to keep the law and order situation stable. In the newspaper, you [people] saw the incidents that occurred during Durga Puja in Cumilla and Chandpur. Three were killed in Chandpur and police opened fire indiscriminately," said Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP's secretary general.
Fakhrul made the remarks at a discussion at Dhaka Reporters Unity to mark the 11th founding anniversary of Jatiyatabadi Samabay Dal.
"This is the government's conspiracy to destroy communal harmony... We condemn such incidents and demand immediate arrest of the culprits," he said.
Saying that Bangladesh is a country of tolerance and communal harmony, the BNP leader said these types of incidents are orchestrated to divert public attention.
GOVT WILL NOT TOLERATE COMMUNAL FORCES: QUADER
The government will not allow any communal force to raise their ugly head and disturb harmony between communities, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said yesterday.
Quader, also Awami League general secretary, issued the warning after visiting the capital's Ramkrishna mission puja mandap.
"Evil groups and extremist communal forces have carried out attacks on Hindu temples in 10 to 12 places and vandalised houses of Hindu people as the election is looming," he said.
Calling upon citizens to keep communal unity and harmony, he said, "Those who don't like the country's development and peaceful celebration of puja, the biggest festival of the Hindu community, are trying to push the country backwards by destroying communal harmony in many ways."
He also urged the people to remain watchful of malicious efforts to spread rumours about such issues. "Do not pay heed to a section of people spreading rumours on social media to incite communal tensions," he added.