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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Why is Amnesty Intl. South Asia silent on the arrest of Jhumon Das, attack on Hindus in Shalla, Bangladesh?

Amnesty International South Asian, an entity famous for its apparent and abject pandering of the Muslim community recently triggered a debate by voicing out for one Mohammad Emom who has been charged under Bangladesh’s Digital Security Act for a Facebook post about PM Sheikh Hasina. 15-year-old Emom has been detained despite tendering an apology informs Amnesty on its Twitter post.

Amnesty appears immensely concerned for Mohammad Emon, however, their blaring hypocrisy comes to the fore with their abject silence on the issue of Jhumon Das has also been arrested under the same act in March this year.

With the country preparing for the Bharatiya Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit for Bangladesh’s Independence Day on March 26th, Hafazat-e-Islam chief Junaid Babunagari and his other eminent members of the outfit called for an Islamic gathering and announced that PM Modi will not be welcomed in Bangladesh. At this, a man named Jhuman Das, who is in his mid-twenties and works at a private firm, allegedly made some derogatory Facebook posts against Maulana Mamunul Haque, the Hefazat-e-Islam’s Joint Secretary-General. 

As the post went viral, Jhumon was detained from Shanskhai Bazar around 9 PM and handed over to the police by the locals of his village; he was booked under the Digital Security act. The Shalla Upazila Chairman Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mahmud assured the residents that they will face no further trouble. However, Jhuman Das’s arrest didn’t satiate the hunger for revenge of the local Islamists. Series of organized attacks were carried out on Hindu homes. As per reports published at the Newage Bangladesh news portal Hefazat-e-Islam followers vandalised numerous properties of the Hindu minority community in Sunamganj retaliating to Jhuman Das’s alleged Facebook post.

Moreover, hundreds of Muslims hailing from the Santashpur, Natni and Chandrapur villages of Dirai Upazila joined forces to ransack close to 100 houses of Hindus in the Naogram village. They were allegedly carrying rustic arms like sticks, sharp weapons and were seen sporting Islamic skull caps or had a bandana tied around their heads. 

They not only looted valuables but broke down murtis of Hindu gods placed at the household temples. The mob also ran down the house of Bibekananda Majumdar Bakul, who is the chairman of the Habibpur union council. Bibekanada was present at the Upazila headquarters celebrating the birth anniversary of Bangladesh’s founding president Sheikh Majibur Rahman. The violence lasted several hours, though no casualties were reported.

Ratan Chandra Das, one of the locals who handed over Jhumon to the police shared, “We handed the youth over the police. Even after this, the villagers carried out the attack.”

Sunamganj district Police Superintendent Mizanur Rahman had informed the media that no arrests concerning the mob violence on the Hindus had been made and that the investigations and actions were underway. Mizanur further accused Hindu youth, Jhuman Das of spreading hate speech on social media claiming it as “part of his regular activities”. 

That an alleged Facebook post by a Hindu youth constituted an immediate arrest in Bangladesh is not a new incident. Violence on the Hindus triggered on the pretext of “anti-Muslim” or “insulting of Islamic sentiment posts” is a routine in the Islamic republic. Such arrests don’t just impact the accused but take a toll on the lives of other Hindus who had no connection with the alleged offence as well. 

“All the gold and money saved for my two daughters’ marriage has been taken away. I was saving money for them as my husband could not work. Now how will I live?” said 55-year-old Jharna Das with tears rushing down her face. Her house was one of those looted by Muslim mobs to avenge Jhuman Das’s alleged Facebook post.

However, never will we hear entities like Amnesty International South Asian lend their voice to the cause of the hapless, cornered and tormented Hindus of Bangladesh or other South Asian countries of Islamic dominance. And this is why such organizations enjoy the reputation of being skewed and compromised in their motive. 

Till the latest reports on this matter, even after 2 months of his arrest, Jhumon Das was not granted bail. Assorted Humanitarian organizations chose to stay silent. 


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