Attacks were launched on 15 temples of the city on October 13
Police have arrested 23 people accused in cases filed over the attacks on Hindu temples and Durga Puja pavilions in Banshkhali of Chittagong on October 13.
Three separate cases were registered in connection with the attacks – one for vandalism of West Chambal Temple, and the two others for attacks of Puja venues at Napora and Central Kali Temple.
In these cases, 970 people are anonymous while 62 are named as accused. “Of them, 23 people have been arrested till [Tuesday] evening,” Banshkhali police station Officer-in-Charge Mohammad Kamal Uddin said.
Banshkhali Puja Udjapan Parishad leaders, however, claimed that 15 temples were vandalized during the attacks around 6pm on October 13.
The idols were vandalized at a temple in Jaldash Para area of West Chambal while the gates were damaged and set on fire in 14 other temples.
Meanwhile, doctors at Banshkhali Upazila Health Complex said they treated 30 to 35 patients – both Hindus and Muslims – injured during the attacks.
Among the injured, four seriously injured people were referred to Chittagong Medical College Hospital, said Banshkhali Upazila Medical Officer Dr Jannatul Ferdous Shashi said. Others were released after giving first aid.
Banshkhali Upazila Puja Udjapan Parishad General Secretary Advocate Uttam Karan said that 40-45 Hindu people present at the temples and Puja venues during the attack sustained injuries. Of them, four were sent to CMCH.
He blamed the law enforcers for inaction during the attack.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Saiduzzaman Chowdhury said a temple was attacked while the gateways of the remaining 13-14 Puja pavilions were broken. “This is nothing serious. Everything is under control now.”
The day after the incident, the deputy commissioner visited the West Chambal area and immediately announced Tk25,000 for repairing the Puja pavilion.