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Hindu temples, Durga puja pandals vandalised in Bangladesh, 4 killed

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Hindu temples in Bangladesh were vandalised by miscreants during Durga Puja festivities, forcing the government to deploy paramilitary forces in 22 districts after four people were murdered and many more were injured in the rioting, according to media reports on Thursday. 

Late Wednesday, police opened fire on a mob of over 500 people in response to an uproar over an alleged insult to the Holy Book Quran during the Hindu festival of Durga Puja. 

In the main incident, the mob attacked a Hindu temple and clashed with police in the southern town of Hajiganj, leaving four dead and nearly two dozen injured, including 15 police officers, local police chief Milon Mahmud said.

Temples at Chandpur’s Hajiganj, Chattogram’s Banshkhali, Chapainawabganj’s Shibganj, and Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua were all viciously assaulted, with Hindu worshippers thrashed.

Several Bangladeshi Hindus and Hindu groups rushed to Twitter to post images of vandalism.

Advocate Dr. Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, Secretary General of Bangladesh Jatio Hindu Mohajote, shared a video of a attack and tweeted, “The situation is terrible!! Attacks on 150 families in Shilpara, Cox’s Bazar, widespread vandalism, looting, vandalism of Hatiya in Noakhali, vandalism of idols in municipal Kalimandir, attack Vandalism, molestation of women, 2 people have been found dead in Chandpur.”

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Bangladesh’s government ordered a probe into the violence, saying in a statement that anyone involved would be punished and asking people to maintain order: “The government has urged everyone to keep religious harmony, peace and security”.

So far, the police has arrested 43 people involved in the attacks.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi while addressing media said that the Indian High Commission is in close contact with the authorities in Bangladesh. “We’ve seen some reports of attacks on religious gatherings in Bangladesh. We note that Bangladesh govt has reacted strongly to it. We also understand that Durga Puja celebrations continue in Bangladesh,” he said. 

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(With inputs from agencies)



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