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

HRW: Take immediate steps to protect Hindu communities

  • Published at 10:34 pm October 22nd, 2021
Rangpur arson
Locals return home on Monday morning to find their homes and belongings burned to ashes in Rangpur's Pirganj uapzila Dhaka Tribune

The Bangladesh authorities should exercise caution and restraint in containing the deadliest spate of sectarian violence in Bangladesh in years, Human Rights Watch has said.

The authorities should take immediate steps to protect Hindu religious minorities and prosecute those responsible, including members of law enforcement agencies, for unlawful violence, said an article published on Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s website on Friday.

An angry mob attacked a Hindu temple in Comilla on October 15, 2021, after a photo showing the Quran placed on the knee of a Hindu deity went viral on social media during the Hindu holy festival of Durga Puja. Since the first attacks, mobs have torched dozens of Hindu homes and vandalized temples and statues throughout the country.

“Bangladesh authorities are dealing with an extremely stressful situation that could easily escalate into even more bloodshed, unless law enforcement acts with caution and restraint,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“The authorities need to be deescalating violence, not shooting live ammunition into a crowd,” he added.

Bangladesh shut down mobile internet and deployed paramilitary forces to more than 35 districts to try to stem the violence. Four people died when police reportedly opened fire to contain a mob and at least three more people have died amid the clashes; more than 100 are reported injured.

Also Read - Violence against Hindus: Minority council announces countrywide protests

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials states that security forces must “apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms,” and that “whenever the lawful use of force and firearms is unavoidable, law enforcement officials shall: (a) Exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence and the legitimate objective to be achieved; (b) Minimize damage and injury, and respect and preserve human life.”

On Monday, hundreds gathered peacefully to call for an end to the violence. The authorities have reportedly filed at least 102 cases in connection with the violence and arrested 484 people. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed has promised strong action, declaring “Nobody will be spared. It doesn’t matter which religion they belong to.”

UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo called for peace, stating that: “The recent attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh, fueled by hate speech on social media, are against the values of the Constitution and need to stop.”

Also Read - Pirganj violence victims get grants from RDRS, others

Prime Minister Hasina called on Narendra Modi’s government to quell communal violence in India, where the ruling party has fueled violence targeting the minority Muslim community. “They [India] have to be aware that such incidents should not take place there, which would have an impact on Bangladesh, and the Hindus in our country face attacks,” she said.

Hindus, who make up about 10% of Bangladesh’s Muslim-majority population, have repeatedly come under attack. A Bangladeshi human rights group, Ain o Salish Kendra, has reported at least 3,679 attacks on the Hindu community since January 2013, including vandalism, arson, and targeted violence. The authorities repeatedly fail to investigate and prosecute such violence.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed is facing a critical moment to show in words and action that she is serious about her party’s commitments to democracy and human rights,” Adams said.

“Her calls for an end to the violence should lead to transparent investigations and real legal protections for the Hindu community in Bangladesh,” he added.

Facebook 69
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail