Tens of thousands rally in Bangladesh over attacks on Hindus

Published October 24, 2021
Members of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity council stage a demonstration in Dhaka on Saturday to protest against the recent deadly religious violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh.—AFP
Members of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity council stage a demonstration in Dhaka on Saturday to protest against the recent deadly religious violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh.—AFP

DHAKA: Tens of thousands of people from minority faiths rallied in cities across Bangladesh on Saturday in protest against a series of deadly attacks on Hindu temples and homes.

Demonstrations were held in more than 60 places across the Muslim-majority country, including the capital Dhaka, as protesters vented anger over anti-Hindu riots last week that left seven people dead.

“The law-enforcing agencies and civil administration have utterly failed to protect the minority people, especially the Hindu people,” said Rana Dasgupta, a leader of the Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist Christian Unity Council, which organised the rallies.

Dasgupta said the biggest protests were held in Bangladesh’s second-largest city of Chittagong where at least 15,000 people joined in.

Another big rally took place in the Shahbagh neighbourhood of central Dhaka where several thousand gathered.

“The aim of these ghastly attacks was to drive away minorities from their homes as was done in the past,” Dasgupta said.

He said the protesters had submitted 11 demands to authorities including the setting up of a judicial commission to investigate the attacks.Bangladesh police have said they arrested about 500 suspects in connection with attacks on Hindu temples and other properties.

High-speed mobile internet services were shut down last week in an apparent bid to prevent the violence from spreading.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also met leaders of the Hindu community and promised to take stern action.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2021

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