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Voice of Unheard

Bangladesh; Yet again Islamist attack Jagannath temple in Noakhali before Jumma Namaz

Oct 23, 2021

A week after radical Islamists attacked the 200-year-old Jagannath temple in Noakhali under the pretext of blasphemy, they again targeted the Hindu temple before offering Jumma Namaz on Friday (October 22), reported Ekattor TV.

Despite the deployment of police in the area, the temple came under attack yet again. Even the Police Superintendent had come to offer namaz at the mosque, adjoining the temple. However, about 15-20 minutes prior to his arrival, radical Islamists hurled stones and bricks at the temple. Ekattor TV reported that all glass panes in the Jagannath temple were destroyed owing to multiple attacks. It added that the incident might be a precursor to more acts of violence by radical Islamists.

Following the Jumma Namaz on last Friday, the Jagannath temple was vandalised, desecrated and looted. Ekattor TV pointed out that the attack was pre-planned and was orchestrated by a mob of 400-500 people. Citing temple authorities, it added that a total of 2 crores Taka worth of assets were stolen including 15-20 lakh cash, ornaments and 8-10 bags of rice. Ekattor Tv also added that the mob brought in equipment to break into the temple premises and open safe boxes.

Owing to the administrative laxity and police negligence, Officer-in-Charge (Begumganj Model Thana) Mohammed Kamrup Sikdar was removed from the post and transferred to the Industrial police sector. Ekhattor TV informed that the Hindu community members are horrified by the onslaught of attacks and have decided to not step outside of their houses.

Temples attacked, Hindu houses destroyed by radical Islamist

The attacks happened over the alleged incident of ‘sacrilege’ at a Puja Pandal. However, Police found that the man who triggered communal violence against Hindus by placing Quran at the Durga Puja venue was Iqbal Hossain, a Muslim.The Hindu community had insisted vehemently that nobody among them had placed the Quran at the Puja Pandal and the incident has been a deliberate plan to attack the Hindu community.

For over five days, houses and temples of the Hindu community in Bangladesh have been under the attack of radical Islamists. It started on October 12 when multiple incidents of idol vandalism took place ahead of Puja. On Sunday, Islamic extremists vandalized the Durga idol of Sri Shamshaneshwar Shiva Vigraha Mandir in the Firingibazar area in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

On October 14, it was reported that several other Puja pandals were vandalized. Videos of broken idols, demolished pandals and Moorti of Maa Durga being thrown in a pond emerged on social media platforms along with other videos of attacks on Hindus. On October 16, the ISKCON temple was attacked by a 400-500 strong Muslim mob. On October 17 and October 18, the attacks continued, and houses of Hindus were vandalized. Many were reported injured, and some reported dead after the attacks.

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