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Attacks on Durga Puja indicate impunity of Bangladesh’s Islamist extremists

Attacks on Durga Puja indicate impunity of Bangladesh’s Islamist extremists
October 22
14:17 2021

Mat McDermott

CHICAGO: Media reports detail numerous attacks on the Hindu celebrations of Durga Puja and places of worship in at least 10 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts last week.

The exact number killed and injured is still unknown, with some estimates showing that at least four Hindus have been killed and more than 60 people are injured.

“These attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh have long been ignored by the international community,” said Deepali Kulkarni, the Hindu American Foundation’s Director of Human Rights. “Durga Puja is an important sacred Hindu festival. By killing Hindus and attacking their places of worship on what was supposed to be a wholesome and peaceful day, Islamist extremists continue to terrorize Hindu communities in Bangladesh,” she continued.

This latest violence is said to have occurred after a claim on Facebook that a Quran was purportedly ‘desecrated’ by placing it near the feet of the sacred image of Goddess Durga in Cumilla district.

This accusation of placing the Quran at the feet of the Goddess Durga, if true, would have been a gesture of respect in the eyes of Hindus.

Awami League officials have discounted this accusation, calling Facebook a “multiplier for radicals to spread hate messages,” saying that no Hindu in Bangladesh would do something like this.

After the Indian Commissioner spoke out about the “disturbing” reports of violence stating that they were in touch with Bangladesh authorities and paramilitary forces were deployed to more than 35 districts in an attempt to curb the extreme violence against Hindus. Additionally, authorities have shut down internet access in the capital city of Dhaka for much of the day in an attempt to curb the burgeoning violence.

Jamaat-e-Islami, a well known terrorist organization based in Bangladesh, is suspected to have organized this violence with the help of Pakistan.

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