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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Bangladesh: 2 Hindu school-going sisters brutally assaulted by Islamist gang while playing badminton

Two Hindu sisters, 11th grader Boishakhi Swarnokar & 9th grader Shrabonti Swarnokar were brutally assaulted by Shihab Howlader, Russel Howlader and 3-4 other Muslim youth while the sisters were playing badminton in the field of a local church, Bengali language national daily newspaper of Bangladesh “Manobkantha” has reported. The incident took place in Mongla upazila (sub-district), Bagerhat district of south-western Bangladesh.

According to the report, the two sisters were brutally tortured and are now bed-ridden. They were initially treated at the upazila health complex, but then had to be shifted to their home as ‘no beds were available’ in the hospital. The victim’s family lodged a complaint at the local police station that same night, but police has allegedly failed to take any action 24 hours after the incident.

The next day, the accused threatened the victims’ family twice – once in the morning and another time in the afternoon.

As per the complaint lodged, the two sisters were playing badminton when a gang of around 5-6 Muslim youth led by Russell Howlader, son of Shahidul Howlader and Shihab Howlader, son of deceased Belayt Howlader of the same area ambushed Baisakhi and Srabanti. The assailants grabbed their hair & dragged them from the playground and threw them on the road and thrashed them mericlessly. Locals rushed upon hearing the sisters’ cries, but no one dared to intervene for fear of the attackers.

When their mother came running to save her daughters, the assailants beat her too.

There are bruises, sores & cuts all over the body of the two sisters. They are so badly hurt that it is painful to even get out bed.

Prakash Kumar Dash, Deputy Assistant Community Medical Officer of the sub-district health complex, told Manobkantha that the 2 sisters had serious injuries all over their bodies. After giving them first aid, the family took them home due to ‘shortage of beds’ in the hospital.

Due to the assault, Shrabonti could not take her Bengali grammar exam. Because of missing this annual examination, her entire school year could go waste, local residents lamented.

On the condition of anonymity, some locals told Manobkantha that the Russell and Shihab led gang beat up the 2 girls for no reason. Despite this shocking assault, no public representative and police have come forward to stand with the victim and give them a sense of security. They are minority Hindus so they are not getting any justice in this connection, locals claim.

One tea seller Poli Sarkar told the newspaper that Russell and Shihab are extremely feared in the area, so no one intervened when they were assaulting the sisters. Many families in this area have suffered at the hands of these two, but no one has ever received justice. Officer-in-charge of Mongla Police station, Mohammad Monirul Islam said, “I have received the complaint, necessary measures (sic) will be taken following investigation.”

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Ratri Bose
Ratri Bose
Twitter: @ratribose3


  1. Beaten “for no reason” or because “they are Hindus”? I suspect the latter. Remember in Islam beating women is regarded as Sunna, so it does not have the revulsion that Hindus have for it.


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