17 minorities killed and 65 women abused in 7 months: Oikya Parishad

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Hill Voice, 6 October 2020, Dhaka: In the case of communal violence against religious-ethnic minorities in the last 7 months from March to September 2020, 17 minorities have been killed, 65 minority women and children have been victims of violence, 60 incidents of vandalism of idols and attacks on temples have been taken place, says Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad.

A press release signed by Monindra Kumar Nath, Joint General Secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad today 6 October 2020, titled “State of Communal Terrorism in the Coronavirus-caused Pandemic Situation” said that during the catastrophic pandemic caused by coronavirus this year (in 2020), communal violence against religious and ethnic minorities continued as before. In some of these terrorist incidents, the terrorists have identified the leaders and workers of the ruling party Awami League and BNP.

Seven months of communal violence between March and September have resulted in 17 deaths, 10 attempted murders and 11 death threats.

Violence against minority women and children has resulted in 30 rapes and gang-rapes, 7 attempted rapes, 3 suicides due to indecent exposure, 23 forced abductions and 2 attempted abductions, and 3 are missing.

In the religious persecution, 26 idols have been vandalized; 23 temples have been made attacks, vandalism and arson; 5 incidents of seizure of property of crematory ground / religious institutions have taken place. In addition, 4 people have been threatened to convert; 7 people have been forcibly converted; 20 families have been pressured to convert to Islam during the distribution of relief by non-governmental organizations, and 4 people have been arrested on false charges of insulting the Prophet.

Among the attacks for the purpose of land grabbing and eviction, evictions have been made from 26 dwellings, lands and crematoriums; attempts to evict from 73 dwellings, lands and crematoriums have taken place; 34 people have been threatened with deportation; 60 families have been compelled to flee from their villages; 88 houses / businesses were vandalized, set on fire and looted; 247 people were seriously injured in the physical attack.

This communal situation of the last seven months has been highlighted on the basis of information obtained from Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad’s own sources, Bangladesh Minority Watch and leading mass media.

Highlighting the situation, Advocate Rana Dasgupta, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad, said in a statement that communal violence has become a daily occurrence in Bangladesh. Its main goal is to intimidate religious and ethnic minorities and force them to flee the country so that the country becomes a minority-free state. This nefarious conspiracy of the communal forces of the Pakistani period continues in independent Bangladesh as well. If this effort is fruitful, there is a good chance that the country and the nation will fall into a deep crisis.

The statement called on the government and democratic political parties and forces to take the matter seriously. The government was urged to take immediate steps to enact the ‘Minority Protection Act’ promised by the ruling party before the last elections. The statement described the role of law enforcement agencies in visiting of the spots and arresting terrorists as “more positive than ever” and called on the authorities to play a meaningful role in preventing terrorism and ensuring the punishment of terrorists.

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