Buddhist Temple attacked in Chittagong


Hill Voice, 5 May 2020, Chittagong: A Buddhist Temple “Bibbili Shanti Bihar” in Bibbili area of Lohagara Upazila in Chittagong district was allegedly attacked by a mob of 40-50 people. The attack took place on 3 May 2020 at around 3.30 am.

The mob vandalized the Temple’s windows, walls, and the Holy Buddha statue. Buddhist community in the area have been in a state of panic since the attack.

In connection with this incident, President of the Bibbili Shanti Bihar Managing Committee, Joysen Barua, filed a case (No. 1 dated 04.05.2020 Section – 148/447/295/508 Penal Code) against Moulvi Helaluddin alias Jangi Helal, 40, of Charamba village in Kaloar Para of Lohagara Police Station and Jamal Uddin alias LDP cadre Jamal Driver, 55, of Charamba in Jan Mohammad Para of the same police station and 30/35 more unknown people with Lohagara police station.

According to the statement of case, an extremist, radical and terrorist group of about 30/35 people, led by radical defendants Helal Uddin and Jamal Uddin equipped with firearms, iron rods, hammer, sharp weapon and sticks came to the tri-junction on the north side of the temple and attacked the Buddhist temple swearing in vulgar language to Buddhists and chanting slogans against them.

At one stage, the fundamentalists vandalized the boundary wall of the temple, the main gate in front, the windows, the Buddha statues kept in the verandah of the temple, the cupboards, the flower tops.

The fundamentalists fired 2/3 rounds of blank shots through the road on the north-eastern side of the temple, chanting “Burn the temple, burn it.”

Bhadanta S Dharma Tilak, the Buddhist Monk and also the Chief of the Temple said that around 40 people attacked the temple at around 3.30 am on Sunday. They vandalized the Temple’s windows, walls, and the Holy Buddha statue.

The Chief Monk said that “I hid behind the rack in the Temple room to save my life. They attacked the temple by firing three rounds of bullets”

Some villagers, who did not want to be named, alleged, “Abu Reza Muhammad Nezamuddin Nadvi, an MP from Chittagong-15 constituency, was involved in the attack.”

Local Awami League leader Maulvi Helaluddin (40), one Jamaluddin and his followers attacked, villagers complained.

Accused Helaluddin claimed to be the Vice President of Charamba Union Awami League. “I did not attack the temple,” he said. “It is true that I work for MP Nadvir. However, he did not order us to attack any temple” he added.

MP Nadvi denied his involvement, saying, “I have heard that a man named Rocky Barua from the area had a quarrel with some of my party leaders. The police informed me. I don’t know more than that.”

An investigation in this desecration was launched by Advocate Rabindra Ghosh of the Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW). Joysen Barua told BDMW that the assault took place in the plain sight of the police. He added that some police personnel were also around but aided the attackers instead of stopping them.

Banglashen Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council organized a protest against the attack at the initiative of Satkania-Lohagara, Chittagong.