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Atul Brahmachari | HENB | Dhaka | Dec 3, 2015:: Suspected ‘Jihad supporters’ torched 20 houses of the Hindu community at Horijonpalli at Bonomalipara area under Setabganj Municipality in Bochaganj upazila of Dinajpur in Islamic Bangladesh on Saturday. Though Police pointed at “some unidentified miscreants”.
The tin-shed houses of seven families of Hindus and three families of Harijans (professional cleaners) were set on fire in Murshidhat Railway Colony area around 2:30am, Daily Star correspondent reports quoting Habibur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Bochaganj Police Station.
Around 60 to 65 people used to live in the houses but no was injured as the residents managed to run to safely, Munir Lal Bashfore, a resident and cleaner in profession, told the said correspondent.
Meanwhile, locals caught a Muslim youth named Jewel (Son of Ayub Ali), 23, when he was fleeing the scene after allegedly setting the fire, the OC said.
They alleged that Jewel had been threatening the communities there over a scuffle during this year’s Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the Hindu community.
Munir Lal Basfor, leader of the Horijon community, said Jewel went to the mandap area during the Durga Puja on October 10 and locked in an altercation with the Hindus. Jewel demanded Tk 20 Thousand as permission money for holding Durga Puja
Jahangir Alam Liton, councillor of ward No 7 of Bochaganj Municipality, said the victim families had been living on a 20-decimal piece of railway land for long.
He added property worth around Tk 50 lakh was reduced to ashes.
Junarobi Lal Basfor said the fire engulfed everything fast as the criminals splashed petroleum all over the area. “We are just alive and unhurt but could not save anything,” he added.
Rashidul Islam of neighbouring Bakultola village said he had seen the flames from a kilometre away.
Firefighters from Bochaganj Station rushed to the spot and doused the fire around 5:00am.
In October this year, at least 15 Hindu temples in Bangladesh were vandalised over allegations of disrespect shown to Islam on Facebook, triggering panic among the minority community in the Muslim-majority nation.
Temples in Brahmanbarhia district’s Nasirnagar were vandalised on besides over 100 houses of Hindus in the area have also been looted.
Temples in adjacent Habiganj’s Madhabpur also came under attack.
Where are those advocates who often advocate for a “Dalit-Muslim Unity”? Nobody found in the scene.
After the consecutive attacks and arson made upon the Fishermen Hindus in Nasirnagar in Brahmanbaria and the attack upon indigenous Santhal people in Gobindganj, the present attack on Harijonpolli at Bochaganj is showing the proximity of Islamic torture on Bangladesh Hindus and other minorities.
Protection of vulnerable Hindus and other minorities in Islamic Bangladesh is nothing but an eyewash.