Bangladesh: Hindu cremation ground eyed by Islamists leads to attack on the minority

Chittagong, 17 February, 2016: Perpetrators belonging to the majority community tried to forcefully seize the cremation ground belonging to the Hindu community on Sunday 14th February 2016 and also injured 10 women and children from the minority community who were unable to escape the assault.

The incident happened at the Kumira Union of Sitakundo Sub District of the Chittagong District, Bangladesh, and has been reported in The daily Sangbad on 16 February 2016.

It is being said that close to 15 to 20 attackers under the leadership of A.T.M. Salauddin of Gul Ahmed Jute Mills illegally started construction of the houses on the Hindu cremation land.

The minority Hindus intervened and resisted this forceful occupation of cremation ground which enraged the perpetrators and they attacked the minority community with sharp objects and weapons.

As a result of this attack, Bipul Das (17), Ms. Minu Das (50), Ms. Anjali Das (50), Shymol Chakravorty (38), Basu Das (28), Ms. Dipti Muhuri (32), Sujan Nath (28) Ratan Das (19) and others, got seriously injured and they were later admitted to the Sitakund Health Complex for treatment.

Shri Govinda Shil, Secretary General of Moha Shawsan (Cremation Ground Protection Committee), has said that the cremation ground is used for to give a final farewell to over two thousand landless Hindus here. He also said that this is going on since long without any problems.

The perpetrators (land grabbers) had malicious intention and were also religiously motivated for trying to occupy these lands without any fear of the law.

These perpetrators are habitual offenders and have, also, in the past tried to occupy these very Hindu lands.

Mr. Showkat Ali Zahangir, the U.P. Chairman of Bashbaria Union, also confirmed that the land in question belongs to the minority Hindus.

The civil suit that was filed by Md. Salauddin was thrown out by the judiciary as he was unable to produce any documents that could establish his claim on the land.

Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW), a human rights watchdog, communicated with the Officer in Charge of Sitakundo police station over the phone about this incident but he did not respond and, as per BDMW, repeatedly disconnected the mobile line.

Thereafter the advocate from the organization communicated with Tariqul Islam, Assistant Superintendent of Police (Sitakundo Circle), who advised advocate Rabindra Ghosh, belonging to Bangladesh Minority Watch, to not to differentiate between the majority and minority in this country.

Bangladesh Minority Watch has expressed concern over the repeated violations of human rights of the minorities.