Bangladeshi Hindus continue to face almost daily attacks from Islamists. The Sheikh Hasina led Bangladeshi government might be cracking down on Hefazat-e-Islam for their violent protests during and after PM Modi’s visit, but when it comes to persecution of Hindus, authorities look the other way, often with a nod & a wink.
The month of April 2021 started with the shameful incident of Shahim Ahmed, a Muslim headmaster of Nurnagar Ashalata Secondary School, marrying his former Hindu girl student on April 10th. Shamim Ahmed has three wives and married the Hindu minor as his fourth, and has aided in her conversion to Islam.
The family had reported that their daughter had gone missing on her way to study on April 2nd. The family came to know about her marriage to the headmaster and religious conversion through a Facebook post. Parents of the minor informed that their minor daughter had passed out from school and was now pursuing Science from a local college.
They said that Ahmed had been harassing their daughter after she started taking private tuitions from a teacher in a neighbouring village. Parents and Hindus of the region have staged a strong protest against this incident and a report has been lodged with the local police. The school has not taken any strong measures against the headmaster, apart from issuing a temporary suspension and asking for a showcause within 7 days. This would be just another case that is discussed for a few days and forgotten as soon as another incident of an attack on Hindus surfaces.
On 15 April another Hindu woman, Chandana Das from the Chakaria Municipality area of Chittagong, Bangladesh was targeted by a group of Muslim men, named Md Limon, Md Rubel, Shahidul & Raihan.
On 15/04/21,while bathing in Chandana Das river in Chakaria municipality of Chittagong,BD🇧🇩,Md Limon,Md Rubel,Shahidul & Raihan showed physical obscene gestures to Chandana & said bad things.
When Chandana's brother came to the spot & protested,d criminals beat Chandana & her bro pic.twitter.com/LEzHDxejkN
— Raju Das 🇧🇩 (@RajuDas7777) April 19, 2021
Women in rural areas still bathe in the village ponds or rivers with their sarees on. Chandana was also bathing similarly in a nearby river when the Muslim men spotted her and started making obscene remarks. When she protested, the men attacked her physically and tore the saree and blouse she was wearing. They also beat up Chandana’s brother who rushed to the spot to defend her. Chandana’s brother has been badly injured and is now bed-ridden.
Land Jihad is an age-old instrument used by Islamists to grab land and properties of non-Muslims and practised largely by radical Muslims in the Bharatiya subcontinent, especially Bangladesh.
After capturing residential areas and farmland of Hindus, Islamists have now targeted a 120-year-old cremation ground of the Hindus as well. The cremation ground by the river Kankshiyali has been encroached upon by Jamat Ali, Saheb Ali, Md Ali, Hafiz, Asmat, Manju and others, who have taken the charge of building a mosque on the ground in Kaliganj in Satkhira district of Bangladesh.
Renowned publisher-editor of newspaper Dainik Amar Habiganj, Sushanta Das Gupta, is a staunch ‘secularist’ Hindu who has in the past kept quiet when Hindus were persecuted by Islamists. At times, he has even blamed Hindus for their targeting by radical Muslims. Such ‘seculars’ tend to forget that for the Muslim mob, they are just another Kafir and one day their homes will be set aflame as well.
Das Gupta faced the moment of truth when radicals vandalised and looted 9 Hindu homes including the house of his father-in-law. They also ransacked and plundered his newspaper office and attacked journalists over report against a local MP. Last year in June, Das Gupta had been jailed after a case was lodged against him under the draconian Digital Security Act which critics say is being used to silence dissent against the Hasina government. Das Gupta’s newspaper was charged with sharing alleged fake news on Facebook about Habiganj-3 Member of Parliament Md. Abu Zahir from the ruling Awami League party.
Apart from few bloggers reporting on the incidents, and social media activists posting them, these incidents of violence against the Bangladeshi Hindu minority have by and large gone unnoticed and ignored by national and international media.
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