Refusal leads to attack on Hindus
"> Villagers take an injured Hindu man to hospital at Satpatki Majhipara in Lalmonirhat yesterday. Villagers claimed that armed BNP men attacked 40 homes of the Hindus and looted valuables after the Hindus refused to be extorted by them. Photo: Star
At least 15 people, including six women, were injured when some BNP men stormed a Hindu village and vandalised and looted houses at Satpatki Majhipara under Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila yesterday.
Villagers complained that they came under attack as they refused to pay an extortion demand by the BNP men.
Traumatised by the violent attack, Hindu women and children of 125 families fled the village and took refuge in Muslim neighbours' houses at a nearby village, said Jamir Uddin, officer-in-charge at Lalmonirhat Sadar Police Station.
Armed with sharp local weapons, a gang of about 18 BNP men, led by local Chhatra Dal activist Shaon Islam, struck the village around 12:30pm. They ransacked about 40 houses and looted valuables from those, said witnesses.
Sensing the presence of police, the assailants left the scene around 1:30pm.
Of the injured, nine received treatment at Lalmonirhat Sadar Hospital.
On Sunday night, Shaon and his cohorts demanded Tk 5,000 from each of the 15 local fish traders for hartal expenses, which the traders could not entertain, said villager Narayan Chandra Das.
Villagers that night complained about the matter to local BNP leader Abdul Mazid Mandal, he added.
Infuriated over the complaint against him, Shaon stormed the village to take revenge on the Hindus.
Sexagenarian Sumitra Rani Roy said she was assaulted at her house as she tried to save her son Nikhil Chandra Roy from the cruelty of the attackers.
“Pro-hartal pickets beat up my son mercilessly in front of me, but I couldn't do anything to save him,” she rued.
Mohona Rani Das, 55, said the attackers assaulted her, vandalised her house and looted assets, including a cash amount of Tk 30,000.
Contacted, general secretary of Mohendranagar union BNP Abdul Mazid Mandal admitted receiving the complaint for extortion by some BNP men.
He claimed that none of his party men were involved in the attack on the Hindu village. The BNP men must help the minority people to live peacefully, he added.
Additional police super (Lalmonirhat) Aslam Khan said they have already identified the perpetrators of the crime and were trying to nab the criminals.
A police platoon was deployed at the village in the evening to maintain law and order. No case was filed in this connection till 8:00pm yesterday.
Villager Chanchal Chandra Roy said he received threats from the attackers over the phone for not filing any case in this regard.