Bangladesh:Dinajpur Hindus start returning home

Hindu community people, who fled Karnai village under Dinajpur Sadar upazila following attacks by alleged Jamaat-Shibir men a couple of hours after Sunday’s voting, started returning to their houses since Monday night as the local administration ensured safety measures for them.   Police yesterday arrested 5 people in two cases filed over the attacks. Two of the victims — Manohar Sarker and Kartik Chandra Roy — filed the cases with the Dinajpur Sadar Police Station accusing 500 to 600 people. 60 of the accused have been named in the cases.
The local administration also formed a three-member committee, headed by additional district magistrate Abu Raihan, to probe the incident. However, no specific timeframe was given to the committee to submit its report, said Deputy Commissioner Ahmed Shamim Al Razi.
Hindu community people including women, children and young girls, fled their houses on Sunday after Jamaat-Shibir activists attacked and unleashed terror at the village.
The attackers damaged, looted and set fire to around 200 houses and 50 shops.
Jesmin Ara Josna, Vice-chairman of Dinajpur sadar upazila parishad, also confirmed that the panicked people already returned to their houses.
Meanwhile, in another incident, more than 60 houses and 20 shops belonging to Muslim families of Mahadevpur, adjacent to Karnai village, came under attack on Monday night.
Faruk Hossain, an inhabitant of Mahadevpur villager, claimed that around 200 people, along with law enforcers, attacked and looted their houses.
The attackers also assaulted housewives and young girls, and snatched their ornaments as well, Faruk added.
However, Officer-in-Charge of Dinajpur Sadar Police Station Altaf Hossain denied the allegation and said police went to Mahadevpur village to arrest criminals.
In Jessore, two Jamaat-Shibir activists were arrested in a case filed by the police for the ‘Jamaat-Shibir attack’ on Hindu houses in Malopara, Chapatala areas of Abhaynagar upazila,  hours after the January 5 voting ended.
In a media briefing yesterday, Jessore Deputy Commissioner Mostafizur Rahman and Superintendent of Police Jaydev Kumar Bhadra briefed journalists about the security arrangement taken in the area to ensure safety of the Hindu people. They also said a total of 375,000 taka and 4 metric tonnes of rice were allocated for the victims.
Meanwhile, Awami League (AL) General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, in a statement issued yesterday, called upon all the non-communal, democratic and progressive forces to forge a united resistance in a bid to resist attacks on minority community people across the country.
Ashraf alleged that BNP-Jamaat leaders and workers carried out the heinous attacks on the minorities across the country.
On the other hand, BNP urged its party activists to remain alert so that no one can attack the religious minority people. BNP Vice-chairman Selima Rahman made the statement on behalf of party chief Khaleda Zia yesterday.
Transparency International Bangladesh-TIB also expressed grave concern over the attacks.
TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman, in a statement, said the administration should take immediate steps to stop such attacks, form judicial probe bodies and take punitive actions against the perpetrators.
Criticizing the government for ‘its failures’ to protect the minorities, the Communist Party of Bangladesh-CPB alleged that the government did not take any preventive measure in this regard. The party alleged that the local administration kept mum when the incidents took placed for hours at different places.
Some other organisations, including Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mohajote, also condemned the recent attacks on minority people across the country.

Source: The Independent