A New Delhi-based rights body has petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon seeking an end to attacks against religious minorities in Bangladesh.
The plea follows the burning down of 24 Buddhist and Hindu temples in Bangladesh’s Chittagong division allegedly by Islamic radical groups apparently in retaliation to the drive against Muslim Rohingiyas in Myanmar.
“When we received the last report on September 30 midnight, fanatics had burnt down 22 Buddhist and two Hindu temples besides torching 100 houses belonging to Buddhist minorities across Chittagong division,” Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) director Suhas Chakma said from New Delhi.
“The latest attacks are part of a wider conspiracy against religious minorities in collusion with the Bangladesh Army, which on 22-23 September launched a massive communal attack on indigenous tribal people in Chittagong Hill Tracts,” Chakma said. “The only person arrested in the orchestrated violence happened to be a Buddhist.”
The ACHR director added that separate pleas have been sent to Prime Minister Singh and the UN Secretary General to take up the issue with Dhaka toward ending the attacks on religious minorities, bring perpetrators to justice, rebuild all the temples burnt and provide adequate compensation to those displaced by the attacks.
While Bangladesh’s minorities have been at the receiving end, Hindus in the US have taken offence to American political satirist and TV host Stephen Colbert depicting them as a tribe of some stocky primitive furred creatures jumping in the woods.
“Everywhere you looked, there were black people, Asian people, Latinos, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus…,” Colbert said in The Colbert Report and simultaneously showed the picture of an African-American, an Asian, a Latino, a Jew and a Sikh. But while depicting Hindus, he showed what appeared to be a group of stocky furred creatures in the forest.
“This depiction is highly insulting and unacceptable to one billion Hindus worldwide,” said the US-based Universal Society of Hinduism president Rajan Zed. He sought apologies from Colbert and Philippe Dauman, president of the TV parent company Viacom.