In a shocking turn of events, the minority Hindu population in Bangladesh was targeted, which resulted in severe casualties, deaths and destruction of temples. The death toll in the communal violence in Bangladesh has increased to six, while at least 80 Hindu temples were vandalised across the country and over 150 Hindus were injured, said Rana Dasgupta, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu-Buddha Christian Oikya Parishad.
The spate of atrocities started on October 13 in Cumilla district, which quickly spread to other parts of the country including Chandpur, Noakhali, Kishoreganj, Chittagong, Feni and Rangpur. Sixty-six families in Rangpur's Boro Karimpur fishing village have been displaced after their homes were destroyed in the violence. The perpetrators also vandalised two shops and two temples in the area, looted all valuables and cash.
Amid reports of attacks on Hindus, their houses, shops and temples in what is said to be the "worst communal violence in years", UK councillor Pushpita Gupta sat on a hunger strike against the anti-Hindu riots in Bangladesh. She says the riots are the "biggest communal persecution of the Hindus of Bangladesh" while demanding safety of the minority, which makes up about 10 percent of the country's 165 million population.
Bangladesh communal riots
As per media reports, the mob violence erupted in Comilla earlier last week, after unconfirmed posts went viral on social media about the alleged desecration of the Quran at a Durga Puja venue, following which Hindu temples were vandalised.
A large number of people have been detained in Chandpur, Chittagong and other places in connection with the cases filed over the attacks on Durga Puja pandals and clashes between the police and a mob in Chandpur's Hajiganj sub-district which left four persons dead.
Incidents of violence were also reported from Hajiganj, Chandpur, Noakhali, Cox's Bazaar, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj, Pabna, Moulvibazara, Kurigram and several other places.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has promised strong action against those involved in provoking communal disturbances by spreading fake photos of the Quran being placed at the feet of a Hindu deity at a Comilla temple during Durga Puja.
(Includes agency inputs)