• Monday, Nov 29, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:19 am

583 arrested so far over attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh

  • Published at 12:27 pm October 22nd, 2021

A total of 102 cases filed against 20,619 people in connection with violence against Hindu community

Series of steps and actions have been taken by both the government and the ruling Awami League to rehabilitate the victims, ensure security and boost the confidence of the Hindu community following the recent violent incidents. 

So far, a total of 102 cases have been filed accusing 20,619 people in connection with violence against the Hindu community. Of them, 583 have been arrested so far and drives are underway to arrest the rest, according to official data. 

Cash assistance, foods, cloths, other essential commodities and house construction materials have been provided to the affected families of the minority community by the government as well as the ruling party. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday declared that houses would be made for those affected by the violence. "Steps have already been taken in this regard," she said at a program at her official residence Ganabhaban. 

The government has declared zero tolerance against the culprits responsible for the disruption of communal harmony in Bangladesh, according to a spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

In a bid to boost confidence and ensure safety of the minority community, vigilance of law enforcement agencies have been strengthened across the country, and the ruling party men are aiding them. 

Home Ministry officials said a total of 117 platoons of the para-military Border Guard Bangladesh have been deployed in 37 districts and three metropolitan cities, while the police, the Rapid Action Battalion and plainclothesmen are patrolling round the clock.

On the other hand, the Awami League has directed its countrywide units to remain vigilant and assist law enforcers to thwart any communal disruption, said Biplab Barua, office secretary of the ruling party. It already held a countrywide communal harmony rally on Tuesday protesting the heinous violence. 

Several ministers, senior Awami League leaders, members of parliament, and top government and law enforcement officials visited the affected and vulnerable areas in the past few days following the directive of the prime minister.

Also read - Court sends 38 accused to jail over Rangpur arson attack

Apart from the ministries concerned, the Prime Minister's Office is also monitoring the situation at the directive of Sheikh Hasina, said Ihsanul Karim, press secretary to the prime minister. "Bangladesh is a land of communal harmony and none will be allowed to thwart it," he added. 

Social media and online media are being monitored constantly, and over two dozen people including an assistant professor of Begum Badrunnessa Government Girls’ College have been arrested for their involvement in spreading rumours, according to Police Headquarters. 

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has issued directives to all public representatives and union parishads, upazilas, municipalities, district councils and city corporations to remain vigilant and play their due role in maintaining peace and harmony in their respective localities. To this end, the ministry will hold a virtual meeting on Sunday.

LGRD Minister Md Tajul Islam also visited Comilla from where the incidents spread following alleged defamation of the Holy Quran.

Meanwhile, police have detained a man suspected to be Iqbal Hossain, who reportedly kept a Quran at a Comilla puja mandap which triggered violence against the Hindu community in many places in the country. 

Ministry of Religious Affairs has held meetings with preachers of major religions in the last few days and directed them to build awareness, motivate people and disseminate the essence of communal harmony for maintaining peace, said Additional Secretary Md A Awal Howlader.

Aid for victims

State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan visited the victims and provided cash Tk10,000 each to 61 families along with baby foods and cattle feed in Pirganj of Rangpur, where a mob carried arson attack on the villages of Hindu people following an alleged offensive status on Facebook by a youth of the community. 

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has allocated 100 bundles of corrugated iron sheets, Tk4,45,000 for house construction and distributed 1,200 packets of foodstuffs as humanitarian assistance for the victim Hindu families, said Secretary Md Mohsin. 

Rangpur district administration on Sunday night distributed Tk9 lakh in cash assistance and 100 bundles of corrugated iron sheets among 65 affected families. 

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) has set up a number of tents to provide shelter to the homeless people so that they are not forced to spend nights under the open sky. 

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud also visited the victim families and distributed Tk5,000 and 20kg of rice among each Hindu family, who became victims of violence and arson attack, in the village of Pirganj. 

On behalf of the Awami League, cash, food and clothes have also been given to the victim families, said Barua, also a special assistant to the prime minister. He said a central Awami League team will visit across the country soon, led by party General Secretary Obaidul Quader. 

Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, former minister and lawmaker Hasanul Haque Inu and Whip Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapon, among other lawmakers, have visited the victims in Rangpur.

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