Bangladeshi police is said to have arrested 17 Muslims for unleashing attack on the minority Hindu community in the villages of Dinajpur district. The area has been witnessing large scale violence following Islamic zealots numbering around 2000, setting on fire to the homes of over 30 Hindu families and looting their possessions. As many as 50 Hindu men and women were left injured in the attack. They are said to have unleashed the violence when the Hindu community protested against the building of a mosque in a minority dominated area at Chirirbandar upazila in Dinajpur district.
The violence is said to have brewed on Saturday, in spite of Section 144 being imposed there. Swarms of Muslims are said to have gathered at the proposed construction site at Balaibazar, donated by a certain Hamida Banu of Amarpur. However, when the Hindu community of the area protested, the mob consisting of around 1500- 2000 men launched an attack. The mob also stole around 100 cows and goats.
“We have arrested 17 people so far now for attacking Hindu minorities and vandalizing their homes, but the situation is normalizing since a large number of officers have been deployed since the clashes occurred,” said police spokesman Tariqul Islam.
Earlier 8 people were arrested for their role in arson attack and vandalism. “The attackers also vandalized six to seven houses of Hindus at Majpara of Abdulpur around 1pm. Police brought the situation under control by charging baton and firing rubber bullets,” said Chirirbandar Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) Rashidul Mannaf Kabir.
However, locals say that he is behind unleashing of the attack. While announcing the imposition of Section 144, he is said to have announced, “Section 144 has been imposed following mounting of tension, as people from the Hindu community have obstructed building of a mosque.”
Another report given by Amarpur Union Parishad Chairman Liakat Ali the attackers were from other areas like Parbatipur.
However, according to Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner Jamal Uddin, no killing has taken place. “A lot of people gathered suddenly and launched the attack. But no incident like killing took place as the law enforcers were ready.” He said that 35 families living in 12 houses were harmed. “They have been provided help. The process to file a case over the matter is underway. The criminals will be held.”
Even though a committee has been constituted to look into the incident, the Hindu community of Bangladesh continues to live in fear.