Vandalism of a Buddhist temple in Rangunia, death threats to Monk

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Hill Voice, 17 July 2020, ChittagongThe local administration and those in power have been accused of vandalizing a Buddhist temple at Falharia Gyansharan Maharanya, harassing Bhante (Monk) and threatening to kill him in Rangunia upazila of Chittagong district.

According to sources, on 11 July 2020 Saturday at around 8:00 am, a group of police and Awami League activists led by the local administration started vandalizing the Buddhist temple without any discussion.

At that time, the Monks in the ashram tried to stop them, but the vandalisers did not listen. Shortly afterwards, the principal of the monastery, Gyana Sharankar Bhante, came to the OC and the Awami League leader to see the cause of the vandalism and the official order for vandalism, but they could not show it.

On the contrary, the OC got into a heated argument with Bhante. He used bad language with Bhante. He later threatened to demolish all the temples. There is a video record of this.

After the incident, on 14 July 2020 Monday, with an aim to cover up the vandalism of Bihar and to divert it to different direction, an ill-motivated human chain was formed in Rangunia Sadar Upazila against Ven. Ghyana Sharanankar Thero at the instigation of Awami League led by Information Minister Hasan Mahmud’s brother Ershad Mahmud.

Such ill-motivated human chain and rally was held under the banner of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian Unity Society led by former Vice Chairman of Buddhist Religious Welfare Trust Swajan Kumar Talukder at Sadar Ishakhali in Rangunia Upazila against Ven. Gyana Sharanankar Thero.

There has been an extreme repercussion among Buddhists for holding such ill-purpose rallies and the participation of some members of the Buddhist community in the rallies. Since then, the situation in the area has been tense and the Buddhist community in Rangunia is in fear of another Ramu-like incident.

On the other hand, speaking on behalf of Gyana Sharanankar Bhante, General Secretary of Rangunia Upazila Chhatra League Shimul Dasgupta filed a fabricated case against blogger Asad Noor with Rangunia police station on 14 July 2020 Tuesday under the Digital Security Act.

The case purposely alleges that Asad Noor was involved in destroying communal harmony by tarnishing the communal harmony and integral position of Rangunia Upazila by making provocative and derogatory remarks on Facebook page about Islam, Muslim nation and Bangladesh Awami League.

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