Hundreds protest in Bangladesh to support Communal Harmony

To support and fight for minority rights protesters of Bangladesh were marching on the roads. All classes of people and religion gathered at the Shahbagh intersection of the city. Along with a big number of Dhaka University’s students, they were protesting the attacks to support Hindu community.

Religious violence and vandalism started to take a bigger picture in the Bangladeshi Hindu community. With the celebration of the biggest festival of Durga Puja, chaos erupts between two different religious parties after a photo widely circulated on social media shows alleged desecration of the Holy Quran, placed on the knee of a Hindu deity last week.

The protesting students took a position at Shahbagh on Monday. Before that they gathered at TSC of DU, bringing out a procession, and blocked the roads. The protesters were vigorously chanting various slogans demanding punishment of the communal carnage, asking for security, protection, and a separate ministry for the minority communities. Protestors issued seven-point demands that include the highest punishment for the miscreants, compensation for the victims, repairing the damaged temples, and forming a minority protection commission. Also, another demand is a 15% allocation in the national budget for religious minorities and turning the Hindu Welfare Trust into a foundation.

Right after a memorandum was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office with the demands for quick and effective actions by the government, they called off the protests.

The incident happened at Cumilla, a district of Bangladesh heavily and rapidly traveled across the country through the internet. Internet connection was shut down and poor network systems kept on for several hours all over the country. As a result, nationwide social and communal unrest got out of hand.

In line with such a disrespectful event occurred religious sentiments burst out. Miscreants set a fire around 20 houses of the Hindu community in Rangpur amid the ongoing violence. They also attacked Hindu temples and clashed with police across the country thus at least six people, including two Hindus, dead and more than 150 Hindus along with Muslims were injured across the country. The report says around 80 fleet temples had been attacked.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met leaders of the Hindu community and promised to take proper action against this mayhem and communal carnage.

“So far around 90 people have been arrested. We will also hunt down all the masterminds,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said. Extra security including a paramilitary border guard has been initiated to control any further unrest.

Though Bangladesh Police had taken precautions to prevent the violence from spreading, this religious vandalism kept on. Nearly around 300 suspects were arrested after two Hindu men were killed and temples vandalized.

Meanwhile, the Hindu community makes up about 10 percent of Bangladesh’s population.