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Dhaka Tribune

Investigation into Nasirnagar attack cases yet to complete

Police arrested over hundred people in connection with the case, all of whom are now on bail, Kabir Hossian, investigation officer of the case, said 

Update : 30 Oct 2019, 11:18 PM

Although three years have passed after the arson attacks and vandalism on the homes and temples of Hindus in Brahmanbaria’s Nasirnagar upazila, those responsible are still to face any punishment as the investigations into most of the cases are yet to be completed.

However, senior police officials expressed hope of ending the investigation in the shortest possible time.

Following the attacks, eight cases were filed with Nasirnagar police station accusing some 2,000 unidentified people, but law enforcement is yet to complete investigations and submit the charge sheets for seven of those cases.

In one of the eight cases, police pressed charges against 228 suspects, including several Awami League and BNP supporters and activists, for the attacks on the Hindu community in Nasirnagar, on December 3, 2017. No hearing has taken place since then.

Police arrested over a hundred people in connection with the case, all of whom are now on bail, said Kabir Hossian, investigation officer for the case.

On October 30, 2016, a mob vandalised some 17 temples and ransacked 58 houses belonging to the minority Hindus of the area over an alleged defamatory Facebook post by a Hindu youth Rasraj.

More than 100 people were injured in the attack. The ruling Awami League suspended three of its Nasirnagar unit leaders for their alleged involvement.

Locals and leaders of the minority community have expressed their doubts saying that they have lost hope of getting justice. 

Asked, Additional Superintendent of Brahmanbaria Police, Alamgir Hossain, said they were monitoring the investigation in all the cases. “We will submit the reports one after another as soon as all the investigations are done.

“As there are many accused, it is taking time to submit the investigation reports,” Alamgir said.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Purnima Das of Gangul Para whose house was vandalized on the day, said: “I don't want to recall the horror of that day. Shocked, my husband became speechless and died last year."

Aarti Das of Haripur village said: "We pray to God to give understanding to those who attacked us. I do not want to see such events in the future."

Talking, Pirmal and Subal Das at district headquarters, said: "Do not ask about the incident. Nothing will happen. I don't know if there will be any trial."

They may face more trouble talking to this correspondent, said the two victims. 

Visiting Rasraj at his house in Haripur village, this correspondent found him returning home at noon from fishing in the nearby water body, to have lunch. 

Rasraj said he had to appear regularly in court for a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act. 

"All my earnings from fishing go to paying the transportation bill to appear before the court in the case. I am innocent. So, I want to be acquitted from the case," he went on to say. 

He also sought Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's cooperation in this regard.

Asked, president of the district's Puja Udjapan Committee and former general secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, Sommesh Ranjan Roy, said all the attacks on minority communities based on Facebook posts are the same. 

"The government has to ensure justice in such cases, otherwise such incidents will continue," he added. 

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