'Goons still threatening us': Official at ISKON temple in Bangladesh's Dhaka

ISKCON Kolkata vice-president Radharamn Das has condemned the incident at the Dhaka temple and said these attacks are of grave concern
A mob of 200 people allegedly vandalised the ISKCON Radhkanta temple in Bangladesh's Dhaka on Thursday,
A mob of 200 people allegedly vandalised the ISKCON Radhkanta temple in Bangladesh's Dhaka on Thursday,
Published on Mar 19, 2022 04:35 PM IST
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Written by Kanishka Singharia | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan

Two days after a mob of around 200 people allegedly vandalised an ISKCON temple in Bangladesh's Dhaka, the temple's medical officer has sought help from prime ministers Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. Rasmani Keshavdas told news agency ANI that a police complaint had been registered and security measures stepped up - 10 cops have been deployed, he said - but he said that the temple was still receiving threats.

"Haji Shafiullah had been threatening us for years to leave the temple. He had offered us money too. One of his men, Ishraf Sufi, had given us life threats," Keshavdas told ANI.

 

"Goons are still threatening us... they have directed us to leave the temple but it is ours (and) we won't leave," he said, "Our PM is also trying to help us. We request both PMs to help us."

Keshavdas also alleged local police had shown support to the alleged vandalism incident and refused to heed the temple's concerns. No arrests have been made till now, he added.

"That day these two, with 500-600 people, vandalised the temple's wall. Two of our people were hit when they tried to stop the mob. They behaved the same even before police."

Shortly after the attack Indian government sources told ANI the High Commission in Dhaka was in touch with the authorities there, as well as senior political leaders and members of minority communities.

ISKCON Kolkata vice-president Radharamn Das has condemned the incident at the Dhaka temple and said these attacks are of grave concern.

"Last evening, when devotees were preparing for Gaura Purnima celebration, a mob of 200 people entered the premises of Shri Radhakanta Temple, Dhaka, and attacked them... three of them were injured in scuffle. Fortunately, they called the police and were able to drive away miscreants," he was quoted by ANI.

Tension gripped Bangladesh last year after incidents of vandalism and attacks on temples.

In October, an ISKCON temple in Noakhali was vandalised and one person died. Three more were killed over allegations of a Quran desecrated at a Durga Puja pavilion in Bangladesh.

As more reports of such vandalism and attacks came in, India had said it was 'in very close contact with the authorities in Dhaka and at local levels' and that Bangladesh had 'reacted promptly to ensure control... including the deployment of the law enforcement machinery'.

Days later news agency PTI reported police in Bangladesh as saying they had arrested a man in his 30s whom they said was a key suspect in some of the temple attacks. The government had promised swift action against those targeting Hindus and other religious minorities.

In the days that followed the attacks, thousands of Bangladeshis protested in support of the Hindu community in the country, as well as other minorities targeted by the vandals.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022