Not a single temple was destroyed: Bangladesh foreign ministry on communal riots

  • Communal violence broke out in several places in Bangladesh earlier this month after news emerged on social media about the alleged desecration of the Quran at a Durga Puja venue on the bank of Nanuar Dighi in the Comilla district of the country.
Activists stage a demonstration in Dhaka on October 19, 2021 to protest against the recent deadly religious violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh. (AFP Photo)
Activists stage a demonstration in Dhaka on October 19, 2021 to protest against the recent deadly religious violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh. (AFP Photo)
Updated on Oct 29, 2021 12:05 PM IST
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Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Bangladesh has issued a statement clarifying the situation regarding the recent incidents of communal clashes in the country during which Hindus were allegedly targeted. The Bangladesh's foreign ministry has maintained that contrary to all the “ongoing propaganda”, only six people died during the recent violence.

"Contrary to all the ongoing propaganda, only 6 people died during recent violence of which 4 were Muslims, killed during the encounters with law enforcing authorities, and 2 were Hindus, one of whom had normal death and another when he jumped in a pond. None was raped and not a single Mandir was destroyed," Bangladeshi foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said in the statement.

"However, deities or goddesses were vandalized. While the violence was unfortunate and should not have happened, the government took immediate action. The perpetrators have been arrested and now they are under police custody," Momen added.

The foreign minister also called out a few "enthusiastic media houses and individuals" for spreading “cooked-up stories” regarding the violence to embarrass the government, branding it as “unfortunate”.

AK Abdul Momen said the law-enforcing authorities are investigating the recent communal violence in the country which happened during the Durga Puja celebrations. "The government is committed to hand out justice to every wrongdoer and to save all its citizens irrespective of their faiths," he added.

Momen also informed that a probe is underway in the incident wherein a person left a copy of the Holy Quran near the foot of a deity which sparked outrage on social media.

"Reportedly a drug-addict person left a copy of the Holy Quran near the foot of a deity when there was no worshippers or organizer at the Puja Mondop and another person took a photo of it and put it up in the social media, Facebook, sparking outrage," he said.

Reports of tensions between religious groups of Bangladesh have come to light, days after communal violence that rocked various cities in Bangladesh. According to news agency ANI, at least 71 cases have been filed in different parts of the country in connection with the attacks on Hindus and around 450 were arrested for spreading rumours on social media.

Communal violence broke out in several places in Bangladesh earlier this month after news emerged on social media about the alleged desecration of the Quran at a Durga Puja venue on the bank of Nanuar Dighi in the Comilla district of the country.

The statement by the foreign ministry comes after Bangladesh information and broadcasting minister M Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said elements close to Pakistan who had opposed the 1971 liberation war want to create communal disharmony in his country. He emphasised that secularism remains the guiding spirit of the "nation and its Constitution".

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022