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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Bangladesh: attack on Saraswati Puja, Hindu man lynched and humiliated by Muslim duo as crowd watches

Attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh are relentless and designed to gradually cleanse the religious minority from the country. Two such incidents have come to light from Habiganj district.

On Sunday, February 6, Muslim radicals armed with sharp rustic weapons wreaked havoc at a Saraswati Puja venue inside Abani Das’ residence and tore down the murti of Maa Saraswati. The main culprit has been identified as Malai Miya, a notorious Muslim goon in the area.

When Hindus tried to stop the mob, they were attacked with sharp weapons. 7 people were severely wounded and admitted to the Brahmanbadiya Hospital. The area under the jurisdiction of Madhabpur Thana. Though the police were informed promptly and they assured swift action, none of the attackers had been arrested as per last reports. 

Then on Wednesday, March 9, a Hindu man was lynched by Mohammad Harun Molla and Mohammad Mati Miya in front of a 100-strong crowd. Narad Sutradhar was assaulted and his limbs fractured. He was called out from his house by the assaulters over ‘suspicion of theft’ and thrashed publicly.

A partial video of the assault shared on FB shows a traumatised Narad with his hands tied behind his back sitting in front of an elderly Muslim man sitting on a chair. The man twists his ears and questions Narad, and one can hear the sound of children laughing – the entire crowd seem to be enjoying the spectacle. That no one from the crowd raised any objection or thought of informing police shows how such anti-Hindu violence has been normalized in Islamic Bangladesh. 

Later, a neighbour accompanied Narad to the local hospital where he is now receiving treatment. Though some locals have criticised the horrific incident, no one has had the courage to lodge a complaint against the assaulters. As Narad is admitted to the hospital, he has also not been able to approach the police about the violence.

However, incredibly, some Hindu associations are still standing up for their fundamental human rights and have shown the courage to spread the word about Hindu Dharma in Bangladesh. One such association is the Tarun Sanatani Sangha in Sylhet’s Moulavi Bazar which has taken an initiative to distribute copies of the Bhagwat Geeta among Hindu children and teenagers and initiate them to the “Satwik Puja patdhati”.

They have been doing this dedicatedly since 2018, especially during Durga puja, Saraswati puja, and other religious occasions when the Hindu community comes together. The association sends out invitations and pamphlets to spread the word about Hindu Dharma during these occasions to inculcate a Hindu religious and cultural ethos from a young age. In an atmosphere of severe persecution and marginalisation of Hindus, the initiative taken up by the Tarun Sanatani Sangha deserves special recognition for their bravery and commitment to their Dharma and culture. 

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