Friday 2 December 2022
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PoliticsIndiaHindu plight in Bangladesh finally becomes issue in bilateral talks as atrocities...

Hindu plight in Bangladesh finally becomes issue in bilateral talks as atrocities defy Sheikh Hasina’s image

The notion in India that Sheikh Hasina Wazed’s Awami League government in Bangladesh is a better deal for the Hindu community is at best a popular myth

Even as more atrocities are committed on Hindus in Bangladesh, with a certain married man Abu Bakar Siddiqui cutting the body of his Hindu lover Kavita Rani into three pieces and throwing it into the drain earlier this month, in the bilateral meeting between India and Bangladesh, India finally raised the matter of attack on Hindu temples in Bangladesh. Sources said another discussion on fencing the India-Bangladesh border was held during the third meeting of the “No Funds for Anti- Ministerial Conference on Terrorism Financing” in New Delhi earlier in the day.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah raised the issue of attacks on Hindu temples in the neighbouring country with his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan. The two sides had fruitful exchanges on border management and security-related general problems.

Several incidents of of deities in Hindu temples in Bangladesh have come to the fore in the recent past. In October, some unknown people attacked a deity idol in a Hindu temple in Jenaidah, Bangladesh, after which the launched a search for the vandals.

In July, some temples, shops and several houses belonging to Hindus in southwestern Bangladesh were vandalized by a group of people over a Facebook post that allegedly insulted Islam.

On November 7, Hindu girl Kavita Rani was killed and beheaded by her married lover Abu Bakar at Sonadanga in Khulna District, Bangladesh, when she pressured her for marriage.

Bangladesh Information Minister Hasan Mahmud had on 29 October said the Sheikh Hasina Government was committed to the safety of its Hindu minorities and the peaceful Durga Puja celebrations in the country this year bore testimony to it, but the attacks on Hindus elsewhere continue unabated.

Meanwhile, the union government asked directors-generals of of states and union territories to take appropriate action on the illegal immigrants who had sneaked into the country along the Bangladesh border in West Bengal and settled across the country, police sources said two weeks ago.

Hindu in ‘tolerant’ regime of Sheikh Hasina

While it is largely believed in India that Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League ruling Bangladesh is a much better deal for Hindus, the reality is quite different and alarming. In 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal indicted several Jamaat members for war crimes against Hindus during the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities. In retaliation, against Hindu minorities in Bangladesh was instigated by the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.

The Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mahajote (BJHM) said that in 2017, at least 107 people of the Hindu community were killed and 31 fell victim to enforced disappearance 782 Hindus were either forced to leave the country or threatened to leave, and besides this, 23 were forced to get converted into other religions and at least 25 Hindu women and children were raped, while 235 temples and statues were vandalized during the year. The total number of atrocities against the Hindu community in 2017 numbered 6,474.

During the 2019 Bangladesh election, eight houses belonging to Hindu families on fire in Thakurgaon alone. In April 2019, two idols of Hindu goddesses, Lakshmi and Saraswati, have been vandalized by unidentified miscreants at a newly constructed temple in Kazipara of Brahmanbaria. In the same month, several idols of Hindu gods in two temples in Madaripur Sadar Upazila which were under construction were desecrated by miscreants.

In 2021, many temples and houses of Hindus were broken and vandalized after an attack on them on Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh by Hefazat-e-Islam and other radical groups as anti-Modi protests. Similarly, there were attacks on Hindus in 2020, after some of them supported France after the Murder of Samuel Paty.

In the October of the same year, there had been severe communal in Bangladesh against the Bengali Hindus, after a misleading video of Qur’an desecration at the Durga Puja pandals was spread in which more than 120 Hindu temples were vandalized and seven Hindus were killed. It was described by The New York Times as the “worst communal violence in years”.

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