Attacks on Hindus, foreigners up in Bangladesh: Study

NEW DELHI: Attacks on foreigners and religious minorities, especially Hindus, are common and increasing in Bangladesh of late, says a report by Brussels-based nonprofit, International Crisis Group (ICG).

ICG's April report 'Political Conflict, Extremism and Criminal Justice in Bangladesh' said, "The permissive legal environment, however, is creating opportunities for extremist outfits to regroup, manifested in the killings of secular bloggers and foreigners and attacks on sectarian and religious minorities in 2015." The report said the roots of the current law and order challenges were largely in the intense rivalry between the government and its political opposition, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Jamaat-e-Islami ally.

"The government's reaction to rising extremism, including arrest and prosecution of several suspects without due process and transparency, is fuelling alienation that these groups can further exploit," the ICG report stated.

Hindus are the largest religious minority — roughly 9% of the population — and ICG said, "Attacks on temples and desecration and theft of Hindu idols now occur regularly. Seizure of Hindu-owned homes by local elites, reportedly including Awami League and BNP politicians, is also common."



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