Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Scores of homes have been set on fire, women and girls have been assaulted, temples have been desecrated and statues of the goddess Kali have been destroyed.
For days, Hindu communities in some areas of Bangladesh have been targeted by supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamic party, after its leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death for war crimes.
Acts of violence against the Hindu minority got worse yesterday during a hartal or strike called by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jamaat’s main ally, to protest against the verdict.
In Khulna (a town in the country’s southwest), various activists from the Jamaat-Shibir (Jamaat-e-Islami’s youth wing) and the BNP led protesters towards Dhopapara, a poor area largely inhabited by Hindus. Rapidly, the Muslim extremists set fire to eight homes and looted ten stores before they were dispersed by police.
“Jamaat members entered my house and beat my mother, my wife and my three daughters,” said Amio Das, one of the victims of the attack. “They took our stuff and then set fire to the rest.”
In the village of Aditmari (in the northern district of Lalmonirhat), some fundamentalists stormed and looted the Hindu temple of Sree Sree Shoshan Kali Mandir, dedicated to Kali, destroying statues of the goddess.
The same occurred to a temple in the village of Lakhirpar and another in Satkania (Chittagong).