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Protection of Hindus and others must be ensured amid ongoing violence, says Amnesty

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 19th October, 2021 01:14:04 PM
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Amnesty International has urged the authorities to take urgent steps to protect the members of the minority community in Bangladesh against any attack and ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims.

Responding to the violent attacks on Hindu minority households and temples in Bangladesh during and after the Durga Puja, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner, Saad Hammadi, said the authorities must promptly, thoroughly, impartially and transparently investigate the incidents and bring those suspected to be responsible for the violence and vandalism to account through fair trials.

“Reports of a spate of attacks by angry mobs against members of the Hindu community, their homes, temples and puja pandals during the country’s biggest Hindu festival are symptomatic of the growing anti-minority sentiment in the country. Such repeated attacks against individuals, communal violence, and destruction of the homes and places of worship of minorities in Bangladesh over the years show that the state has failed in its duty to protect minorities,” said Hammadi. 

“Targeting religious sensitivities to stoke communal tension is a serious human rights violation and requires immediate and decisive action from the government to address the situation of minorities in the country.” 

Violence erupted in Bangladesh following allegations on social media that a copy of the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was desecrated at a puja pandal (temporary structures made for the religious ceremony) in Cumilla on October 13. At least seven people have been killed, and hundreds have been injured in clashes that broke out across Bangladesh since October 13.

The police have filed at least 46 cases against 10,000 unidentified people for the violence and vandalism across the country, reads a press statement of the Amnesty issued on Monday (Oct 18).