Ten Hindu idols in a Narsingdi temple were desecrated by some 10-12 unidentified miscreants yesterday.
Meanwhile, speakers at a human chain demanded that the Rajapur upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) in Jhalakathi be punished for allegedly aiding two local brothers in an attempt to grab a 55-year-old Hindu widow’s land by labelling it as vested property.
In another incident, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad’s Moulvibazar unit urged all to come together to resist anti-Hindu pogrom and other communal violence as the government had failed to protect the Hindus from attacks following the January 5 parliamentary elections.
Our Narsingdi correspondent reports, some 10-12 unidentified miscreants desecrated 10 idols of Hindu deities including Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya and Ganesha in a Jinardi union temple of Narsingdi’s Palash upazila around 2:00am yesterday.
Hearing noises, the locals came out and thwarted the miscreants’ attempt to set Sanerbari Durga Mandir on fire, said the temple’s Management Committee President Debdas Sarker.
On Wednesday, some 50-60 locals had snatched four men, accused of stealing from three Hindu shops adjacent to the temple, from an arbitration and threatened to attack Hindus in the locality, he added.
Police said they were trying to nab the criminals. The upazila’s Hindus have been living in panic as a failed attack on two Hindu houses in the upazila’s Danga area had taken place two days after the January 5 parliamentary election, said Debdas.
Our Jhalakathi correspondent adds, the widow, Amio Bala, claimed that the brothers, accompanied by an upazila land office surveyor and some men, on January 20 had driven her out from the land on T&T Road she inherited from her husband.
They also showed a letter, signed by UNO Mahabuba Aktar, also the land office’s assistant commissioner, asking the surveyor to properly hand over the “vested property” leased out to the wife of one of the brothers, she alleged.
However, police that day stopped the men from erecting a barbed wire fence around the land and told her to stay put, she added. The UNO refuted the allegations. Vested properties are those left behind by Hindus during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war.
The Rajapur units of Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad and Puja Udjapon Committee formed the human chain before Rajapur Press Club.
There some local men had tried to foil the human chain while another, in a threatening tone, told this correspondent to refrain from publishing news incriminating the UNO.
Our Moulvibazar correspondent reports, the district unit Udichi Committee President Mokbul Hosain said the government was responsible for protecting lives and properties of Hindus being tortured around the country.
Addressing a human chain the mahila parishad organised before Moulvibazar Press Club around 10:00am, he said the government was yet to take any effective step.
“The government is giving us hope but failing to prove its mettle. If the failure persists, the present secular Bangladesh will face danger,” he said.