fredag 22. oktober 2021

Bangladesh's Hindus living in fear following mob attacks

Like many Hindus, Bonolata Das believed a temple was a safe and sacred place. She wasn't worried when she allowed her 21-year-old son, Pranta Chandra Das, a college student, to stay at a temple complex last week in Bangladesh's south-eastern Noakhali district. But tragedy struck. He was allegedly beaten to death there by hundreds of religious fundamentalists in the Muslim-majority nation. "My youngest son was so close to my heart. After his death, I have lost my heart and have lost everything," Mrs Das said, crying inconsolably.

Her son was a victim of mob violence that began after rumours spread that the Quran had been insulted at a special pavilion set up for the annual Hindu religious festival, Durga Puja, in the town of Comilla.

Within hours of the rumour spreading on social media, hundreds of Muslim fundamentalists went on a rampage targeting Hindu religious pavilions in Comilla. Soon, the violence spread to other parts of Bangladesh. Temples were desecrated and hundreds of houses and businesses of the Hindu minority torched. Seven people, including two Hindus, were killed and many more injured in days of violence. Police opened fire and used tear gas in several places to contain the raging mob.