Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bangladesh minorities 'terrorised' after mob violence

Yet another instance of Muslim violence and rioting to drive out Hindu and Buddhist minorities in Bangladesh.


8 March 2013 Last updated at 21:52 ET

Bangladesh minorities 'terrorised' after mob violence

By Anbarasan Ethirajan BBC News, Noakhali district, southern Bangladesh

Destroyed houses in the village of Aladin Nagar Residents of the village of Aladin Nagarhave been living in fear since the attack last month
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Mrs Das broke down repeatedly as she tried to explain how their tiny tin-roof house was destroyed and set on fire.

The attack started hours after a senior hardline Islamist leader was sentenced to death by a special tribunal in late February.

Jamaat-e-Islami party Vice President Delwar Hossain Sayedee was given a death sentence for crimes committed during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971.

The sentencing triggered a wave of angry protests from the Islamist party's supporters. In many districts, buildings and vehicles were damaged. More than 60 people were killed in clashes with the security forces.

Living in fear

Minority Hindu and Buddhist communities bore the brunt of the attacks as their houses and temples were vandalised and burnt down.

"We heard the mob was coming towards our house. So, we just ran away. Our house was completely burnt. They looted all our belongings, including our savings. We have lost everything," Mrs Das says.

The village of Aladin Nagar, about 120km (75 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, was strewn with torn tin sheets, broken glass, food grain, damaged books and burnt bicycles.

Its residents have been living in fear since the attack and are afraid that they may be targeted again.

Hindu community leaders allege that the attacks were co-ordinated and widespread. So far, they say, more than 50 temples have been damaged and more than 1,500 houses destroyed in the attacks, which took place in nearly 20 districts over the last few weeks.

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