The persecution continues in Noakhali: 150 Hindu families attacked over ‘Quran insult’ rumours

 Brutal attacks, vandalism, looting, and arson have returned to haunt Hindus in Bangladesh’s Noakhali district, as close to 150 households have been reportedly attacked and at least three killed in a violent clash on Wednesday (October 13).

The incident took place after a Facebook rumour claiming ‘insult to Quran’ at a Durga Puja pandal went viral. Videos have emerged on social media where a mob of enraged Muslims are seen pelting stones and vandalising at makeshift Durga Puja pandals in Bangladesh and attacking Hindu families in Bangladesh’s Chandpur area.

A social media user from Bangladesh stated that the Islamic mob was calling for the burning of a local ISKCON temple.

Bangladeshi handles have stated that under the guise of attacks, rampant loot and molestation of women have also taken place. 2 persons have been found dead in the Chandpur area.

Taking a note of the recent incident of attack on minority Hindus in Bangladesh, West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari urged PM Modi and HM Amit Shah to take up “this painful & shameful issue with the Bangladeshi authorities diplomatically, & support the Sanatani Bengalis in this times of distress.”

Since yesterday, a Facebook post claiming Hindus put a copy of the Quran near a Durga Puja pandal to ‘insult’ it has been doing rounds on social media. Within hours of the Facebook posts circulating, mobs of local Muslims attacked the Cumilla Durga Puja pandal, damaged the idol and unleashed violence in the area. The Islamists claimed that the Hindus had deliberately kept their holy book in the pandal as a mark of insult. 

Before one could know it, Islamic extremists took to the streets and vandalized temples in Chandpur’s Hajiganj, Chattogram’s Banshkhali, Chapainawabganj’s Shibganj and Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua and brutally attacked the Hindu devotees. 150 Hindu families were attacked. At least three Hindus have reportedly lost their lives in the ensuing ruckus.

Shibu Prasad Dutta, the general secretary of Cumilla Mahanagar Puja Udjapon Committee, informed that someone placed a copy of the Quran at a Durga Puja pavilion in Nanua Dighir Par early in the morning when no one was watching, as a deliberate act to create a rumour.

Hindus continue to face systematic persecution by radical Islamists in Bangladesh

Yesterday’s incident in Bangladesh was, however, not the first incidence of violence against the minority Hindus in the country, triggered by some stray social media post.

Similar to Pakistan, Hindus in Bangladesh have also witnessed unbridled attacks from the majority Muslims. For decades, the Hindu community in Bangladesh have been facing systematic persecution at the hands of the radical Islamists in the country.

In March this year, over 80 houses of Hindus in the village of Sunamganj, Bangladesh were attacked and vandalized by the supporters of Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam. The attack was planned after a young Hindu man criticized Joint-Secretary General Maulana Mufti Mamunul Haque in a Facebook post as reported by Dhaka Tribune.

Following the brutal attack in the northeastern Sylhet division, Bangladesh, OpIndia chronicled as many as 11 more tragic tales of Hindus facing systematic persecution at the hands of the radical Islamists in Bangladesh over the last decade.

Noakhali riots

In fact, the tragic persecution of the Hindus in Bangladesh started with the 1946 genocide only to heighten during the Bangladesh Liberation War, when almost 3,000,000 Hindus were butchered in one of the biggest genocides of the century, continues until today.

In fact, one of the worst instances of Islamic onslaught against Hindus in Bengal was during the 1940s when calls for a separate Muslim nation were high. It was on 16th August 1946 that Direct Action Day was started and it is no coincidence that the 16th of August was the 18th Day of Ramzan.

These Noakhali riots were a series of semi-organized massacres, mass rapes, abductions and forced conversions of Hindus to Islam and looting and arson of Hindu properties perpetuated by the Muslim community in the districts of Noakhali in the Chittagong Division of Bengal (now Bangladesh) in October–November 1946.

The slaughter of Hindus began on October 10th, the day of the Kojagari Lakshmi Puja, and lasted for almost a week. It is estimated that 5,000 were killed and hundreds of Hindu women were brutally raped. Thousands of men and women belonging to the Hindu community were forced to convert their religion. The forcibly converted Hindus were coerced to give written declarations that they had converted to Islam of their own free will.

What is shocking is that these Noakhali riots were orchestrated by some of the most powerful Muslim leaders who went on to hold the reigns of Pakistan. These include Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who was the then Chief Minister of Bengal and went on to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. 



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