ASK: 413 attacks on Hindu households, temples per year

Attacks on the religious minorities in Bangladesh in the last nine years have left a brutal mark on them, as per a recent report.

According to the prominent rights group, Ain o Salish Kendra, as many as 3,721 attacks took place on the Hindu community — averaging 413 per year — between January 2013 and September this year.

At least 1,678 cases of vandalism and arson attacks on Hindu temples, idols and places of worship were also reported in the same period, according to the report published online.

Besides, 18 hindu families came under attack in the last three years.

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However, when the statistics were showing that the situation is improving, 2021 has so far been the deadliest year in the last five years.

The rights activists however said that the number did not represent the real scenario as the media covers only the bigger picture that comes to light. They suspect that it would result in creating mistrust among the society and inter-communal standing.

In the last nine years, the worst situation was in 2014 when 1,201 houses of minorities and set-ups were vandalized or set on fire by the miscreants. 2016 was the last time the national dailies reported more than 300 such acts of vandalism or arson incidents.

According to ASK, some 196 houses, businesses or trading centres and temples, monasteries and statues were vandalized or set on fire till end of September this year. Some seven people got injured during the same time.

However, this October alone changed that as a rumour about a Quran being desecrated in Comilla ignited a series of communal attacks across the country, resulting in the deaths of six people.

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Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council claimed that some 70 people were injured from the attacks while some around 130 houses, shops, trading centres or temples were vandalized.

Advocate Rana Das Gupta, general secretary of the unity, in a press briefing on Sunday in Chittagong also claimed that six people were killed thus far in the attack. Police were yet to confirm how many people had died from the series of attacks.

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