Image Courtesy: hindupost.in
In Bangladesh’s northern Thakurgaon district, 14 idols in 12 temples were vandalized by unidentified extremists on Sunday. Khairul Anam, officer-in-charge of Baliadangi police station informed the media that the temples were located at Dhantala, Paria and Charul unions in the Baliadangi upazila.
Dhantala union Puja Ujjapon Committee general secretary Jotirmoy Singh said, “We have been offering Puja in the temples for about fifty years. No untoward incidents took place during the years. We demand justice and immediate arrest of those involved in vandalism,” reported India Today.
Some idols were destroyed while some were found in ponds in the temple premises. A hindu community leader Samar Chatterjee asserted that the region is known for its inter religious harmony and no such incident had taken place in the past. He also said that the Muslim community does have any disp;ute with them and was unable to pin point who the culprit could be.
“It clearly appears to be a case of an orchestrated attack to disrupt the peaceful situation of the country,” Thakurgaon’s police chief Jahangir Hossain told reporters at one of the temple sites, reported NDTV.
The Dhaka Tribune described the incident as a “terrible shame” and wrote in its editorial, “To hear that Hindu idols were vandalized, once again, in over a dozen temples in Baliadangi upazila of Thakurgaon is proof of the intolerance that a portion of our population still fosters — and that is a terrible shame in and of itself.
Another newspaper in Bangladesh, The Daily Star, demanded that action be taken against the culprits and in its editorial wrote that “Did they want to create an atmosphere of fear among the Hindu community of Thakurgaon? Or did the criminals simply hold the misguided notion that by desecrating sacred symbols of other religions, they are actually showing love for their own? Whatever might have been their twisted reason, we must send them a strong and clear message that every person in the country has the right to practice their own religion, and that this right is guaranteed by our constitution.”
In October last year some unidentified people vandalized an idol of a deity at a Hindu temple in Bangladesh’s Jhenaidah. The issue of temple attacks was brought forth in the bilateral meet with Bangladesh in November last year, by Home Minister Amit Shah.