ISKCON authorities seek UN chief, PM’s intervention after attack on temple in Bangladesh
A day after a mob killed three people, including two devotees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and vandalised their temple at Noakhali in Bangladesh, ISKCON authorities in Kolkata on Saturday sought the intervention of the United Nations.
“We appeal to the United Nations to immediately issue condemnation of this cycle of violence against Hindus and other minorities of Bangladesh and to send a delegation to Bangladesh,” stated the letter written by ISKON authorities in Kolkata to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday.
The authorities also called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence late on Friday night after the attack took place.
“We also called up the PM’s residence around 8.00 pm on Friday seeking his intervention. The official, who attended the phone, said that the PM would be informed,” said Radharamn Das, vice present of ISKCON, Kolkata.
According to ISKON authorities, a 500-strong mob first vandalized a Durga Puja pandal adjacent to the ISKCON temple at Noakhali in Bangladesh around 2 pm on Friday. Later they attacked the devotees in the ISKCON temple. The idol of Srila Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON, was desecrated, books were set on fire and the temple was vandalised.
“At least three people were killed including two of our devotees – Jatan Kumar Saha and Partha Das. Around 20 people were injured. Some are critical and fighting for their lives,” said Das.
Earlier on Wednesday, Durga Puja pandals and temples at several places in Bangladesh were vandalised by mobs following posts on social media about the alleged desecration of the Quran at a pandal in Cumilla district.
The Indian government had said on Thursday that it was in close contact with Bangladeshi authorities over the attacks in the neighbouring country but noted that celebrations were continuing with the support of the government and people.
Reacting to the reports of the violence on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress (TMC) West Bengal general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh had said: “Serious allegations of vandalism of Durga Puja pandals have poured in from Bangladesh.”
“This is worrisome. It should be investigated. If it is found to be true, the Bangladesh government should take action,” Ghosh further said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson in West Bengal, Samik Bhattacharya had accused the Sheikh Hasina government of inaction. “Such incidents of atrocities on Hindus have increased over the past few months. The government remained a mute spectator,” Bhattacharya added.