• Monday, Dec 06, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:15 am

Rangpur violence: Haunted victims attempt to recover

  • Published at 11:39 pm October 22nd, 2021
Rangpur attack
A woman is seen cooking under the open sky in the ruins of her house on Friday, October 22, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

As many as 70 families were affected by the attack

The Hindu families in the Majhipara’s Jelepolli area of Ramnathpur Union, Rangpur are still trying to find a sense of normalcy five days after their homes were destroyed in a vicious arson attack.

On a visit to the area on Friday, this correspondent found most of the victims were still traumatized and in constant fear of another attack. Some families had started cooking for themselves for the first time since the incident.

Local Sanchita Bala told this newspaper: “My boys and girls do not want to eat the readymade food provided by the volunteers anymore. So, I started cooking myself again from [Friday].”

Ajnu Rani, another resident of the village, also said she had started cooking again after five days, and it was helping to forget the horrific incident.

According to the local Union Parishad chairman, as many as 65 Hindu homes were torched during the attack.   


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


“They attackers belonged to the local units of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir,” Union Parishad Chairman Md Sadequl Islam told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.

Local police said the attack was the result of tension after the spread of a rumour that a Hindu man had posted religiously offensive content on Facebook.

Haunted by trauma

Victims of Sunday’s violence they were busy setting up their new homes, but this was only a minor distraction from the dread of another attack.

Ashraful Alam, director of the National Human Rights Commission's investigation team, recently visited the location from Dhaka. He told reporters on Thursday that he is concerned about the victims.


Also Read - Rangpur arson attack reminiscent of Pak Army's brutality in 1971


“Almost all of the families, who lost everything in the violence, are living in extreme fear. The security gap that has been created is not going away. They said they were worried that they would not be able to do business in the future in this area,” Ashraful said.

Two local women told this correspondent they hid in a paddy field near the village with their children to survive when the hooligans came.

“The culprits did not burn their houses but also looted all the goods, including furniture, cows, goats and cash,” they said.


Also Read - Arson attack on Hindu homes in Rangpur


They added that they were extremely worried by what would happen when the additional police presence is no longer there.

“What will happen when the police go away? Who will give us security? We are terrified,” one of them said.

Biroda Rani Roy, Upazila Nirbahi officer (UNO) of the area, urged the people to remain calm and assured them that there would be no problems as the local administration would support them.

She said: “A total 32 houses of 25 families in Majhipara were set on fire in the attack. A further 59 houses were vandalized after looting. About 70 affected families have been listed.”


Also Read - Government allocates relief goods for Rangpur arson victims


The local UNO also said they distributed dried food and clothing to affected families immediately with the help of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.

The victims got tin, cash aid to rebuild their houses from the Speaker of parliament Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Bidyananda foundation, Brac, RDRS, Bangladesh police, Awami League, Shechchhasebak League, Jubo League, Chhatra League, Left alliance and a good number of social and political organizations.

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