A picture on minority oppression in Bangladesh
By Jahangir Alam Akash, Hindu-Indigenous and Christian minority people have been oppressed continuously by the political influential in Bangladesh. An Indigenous woman Jhorna Dewan (32) has killed on 29 March in Rangamati. (Source: BD News 24, 30.3.2010). This is the latest incident of minority oppression. At least 3 Indigenous people have killed in the incident of February in CHT. We can make a picture of minority oppression.
According to the daily Jugantor (24.3.2010), Mohammad Sanowaruzzaman Josef – Member of Upazila Awami League and U.P. Chairman and his brother Mr. Shamsuzzaman Talukdar Soeb – President of Juba League forcefully and fraudulently occupied lands of renowned Kali Temple situated at Kaliazuri Upazila Sadar of Netrakona district of Bangladesh.
In this connection, Mr. Ranjit Sarker along with some leaders of Hindu community made an appeal to the Deputy Commissioner of Netrakona district for recovery of deity’s land. They also claimed that since long the Hindu communities were celebrating Puja and religious festival on those lands. The powerful land grabbers most illegally occupied those lands and started construct multi storied building thereon. A sense of discontentment was prevailing amongst the Hindu communities due to this abrupt occupation of Temple properties.
According to the Samakal (22.3.2010), Muslim perpetrators on 21 March at about 16.00 hours attacked Hindu village at Dhanua within Faridgonj Police station of Chandpur district. Two Hindu dwellers have been admitted at the hospital with precarious condition due to abrupt attack by perpetrators. Names of injured victims are 1) Ms.Archana Rani Das and 2) Sanjit Das. Because of continuous love affairs between Hindu boy Mr. Samir Chandra Das (17) and Muslim girl Ms. Haowa Begum (16) there developed eternal love.
It is reported that there existed a love between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl within the same locality. Both the boy and girl absconded due to persistent pressure from their father and mothers and other religious leaders. Muslim inhabitants of the same locality became furious because of inter- religious marriage activities in the locality. On 21March at about 16.00pm a gang of perpetrators with deadly weapons attacked Hindu village, destroyed a substantial part of Temple thus desecrated the Hindu deities thereon, destroyed some dwelling houses of minorities and assaulted 10 Hindu inhabitants of Hindu village only because of love affairs between Hindu boy Mr. Samir Chandra Das (17) and Muslim girl Ms. Haowa Begum (16) This unfortunate incident took place at Bara Dhanua Uttaqr Das Para U.P. No.9 of Govindapur, Faridgonj police station of Chandpur district.
Mr. Bhudu Gopal Das lodged first information report (FIR) at Faridgonj police station on same day against the five perpetrators and unknown 10/15 others under section 143/447/448/385/295/323/325/427/502 of Bangladesh penal code. The accused perpetrators are: Mohammad Faruk (40) son of Yonus, Md. Harun (35) son of Abdul Gani, Md. Siddique (35) son of Iqbal, Md. Sumon (35) Luthfar Rahman Gazi, Md. Masum (35) son of Younus Patwari and 10 to 15 unknown others. Faridgonj police arrested Mohammad Faruk and Md. Harun and sent them to jail custody. All other perpetrators are absconding.
According to the daily Amader Shomoy ( 21 March, 2010), Ms. Anju Rani Das (16) a Hindu school student of Class Nine was seized forcibly from custody of her elder brother on way to visit their relative’s house at Boga Union of village West Kaina within Baufol police station. Her father’s name is Amullya Chandra Das (45) of Kolapara police station of Patuakhali district. Mr. Shymol Chandra Das – elder brother of victim girl was wrongfully restrained and confined at the road along with Ms.Anju physically assaulted, their belongings looted, by the perpetrators and took victim away at Kaina and more than 8 Muslim perpetrators raped her one after another 10/15 kilometres away from police station. Initially the local people came to know about this incident of gang-rape and informed the police after chase of two accused. Ms. Anju Rani was gang-raped on 19th March, 10 at about 8.30 p.m. at Kaina of Boga Union 15 kilometres away from Baufal police station by following accused perpetrators: Hanif Howlader ( 38), Bashir Mollah (30), Forkan Howlader (25), Mohammad Masum @ commander Masud (28), Jamal Khan (35), Mohammad Liton (25), Abdul Mannan (30), Md. Abul Kalam (32). The victim lodged first information report (FIR) at Boufol police station being Boufol P.S. case No. 20 dated 20.03.2010 under section 9(3)30 of Women and Children Repression Ordinace,2003 and 341/379 of Bangladesh penal code against those perpetrators. Out of eight perpetrators two have been arrested by police in the meantime.
According to the daily Sangbad (16.3.2010), Serious allegation against perpetrators belonging to Awami League in power forcefully occupied landed properties worth Taka half a billion of Hindu families at Kishoreganj town. Although police rushed at the spot soon after a general diary was lodged at Sadar police station the perpetrators continued to erect construction on the lands of Hindus illegally. On Monday the Hindu victims in press conference imparted facts of case at the District Press Club in Kishoreganj that on last Friday morning the perpetrators namely –Abdul Karim son of Hashim Bepari, Siddique son of Mansur Ali and Taher along with 10/12 more perpetrators forcefully occupied .5 sataks of lands belonging to Narayan Biswas of Bhattacharjee Para, .7 sataks of lands belonging to Ms.Mala Rani Chowdhury wife of Saitten Bhattacharjee, .3 sataks of lands belonging to Ms.Beauty Bhattarjee wife of Brajesh Bhattacharjee, 03 sataks of lands belonging to Ms.Beauty Rani Sutradhar wife of Bipul Sutradhar, 03 and half sataks belonging to Monmohan Basak, 05 and half sataks of lands belonging to Nani Gopal Banik.
It is also reported that those minority Hindus had been owning and possessing those lands since 15 to 30 years ago. All those lands grabbers forcefully erected houses. In this connection Mr.Saitten Bhattacharjee husband of Ms. Mala Rani started a general diary entry as complainant.The minority communities there in great anxiety and nobody dared to protest illegal construction of houses on their lands. Mir Mosharaf Hossain, Officer-in-Charge of Sadar P.S. informed that on Sunday night and on Monday morning police stopped construction on the lands in dispute. Both the parties were advised to report police station with their legal documents.
According to the daily Jugantor (5.3.2010), Assailants shot dead a Jewellery trader in front of Bahadur Shah Park in Old town in Dhaka Thursday morning.
The deceased was Prem Krishna Roy (37), a resident of Khailash Ghosh Lane at Kazir Deuri. Witnesses said a gang of three of four assailants stopped Prem Krishna, who was on his way home, near the park about 7.45 a.m. and shot him in the fact, chest, abdomen and shoulders. Prem, who returned from Dubai recently, fell on the ground severely wounded. The gangsters made their escape by firing blank shots. Local people took him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Prem’s elder brother Amal Roy alleged his brother might have been killed by extortionist who had demanded Taka 10 lakh from Amal just a month ago. On 14th February, 10 he made a general diary entry at Kotwali police station for necessary protection, but police failed to protect him. “Some unnamed people, who demanded Taka 10 lakh from me, threatened me and my family over telephone of dire consequences if I would fail to pay the money, he said. As I refused to pay the money, they repeatedly threatened me saying that they would kill my family members, Amal, who owns the James Jewellery Workshop in the area. Prem who got married to Ms Swapna Roy three months ago, returned to the country early December, 2009 after staying in Dubai for five years. Swapna said her husband had no enmity with anyone.
Nitty Mondal, a worker of the James Jewellery Workshop told that Amal Roy received threats from unnamed caller three times in February and he refused to pay any money back home, Prem Roy had helped his brother in running the business. Once Prem was abducted for extorting Taka five million and after payment those perpetrators let him free on condition. He however, said they could not identify the extortionist.
According to the daily Destiny (18.2.2010), Bijoy Roy (13) a Hindu- children- van-carrier of Chowgacha Upazila was assassinated to death by unknown assailants. His head was separated from his body. He is a destitute child of Aswani Roy –a Hindu van carrier of village Bonni of Chowgacha Upazila. Nobody could identify who were the killers. There is no allegation against this destitute boy. Local lamented for such killing as soon as they came to know this unfortunate event. Local people informed police on 15 February, 10 while mutilated dead body of Bijoy Roy was identified from village Bonni. Police sent the dead body to hospital morgue for autopsy. No relatives of the deceased know when why this boy was brutally killed. On Sunday last Bijoy did not return to his home till his assassination. No trace was available whole night from 14 February, 10. Neighbour became astonished seeing his separated body of this innocent boy.
Mozzammel Hoque, S.I. of Police informed that a murder case has been started without mentioning the names of the assailants and the investigation was going on. Chowgacha P.S. case No. 4 dated 15.02.10 under section 302/34 of penal code; one Md. Tarikul Islam (21) son of Abdul Mannan was arrested on suspicion.
According to the daily Sangbad and Samakal (7.2.2010), consequent upon an incident of sexual harassment of Hindu girl some unruly perpetrators attacked Hindu Temple at Mograpara of Sonargaon Sub-district at Narayanganj of Bangladesh on Friday 5 February, 10 evening. Perpetrators also demolished 6 (six) Hindu Deities (Murthies), attacked houses belonging to Hindu communities. During this time Hindus were celebrating Puja at the premises. Police deployed for controlling the situation. The perpetrators also damaged houses belonged to Hindus namely a) Naresh b) Netai, c) Polly, d) Govinda and e) Sentu and some Hindu youths had been beaten. The perpetrators belonged to Muslims are: Rakibul, Sujan, Sabbir, Mohan, Sagar, Ripon and more others. It is alleged that since 2 February, 10 “Kali Puja” started at village Ashrabdi within Sonargaon Sub-District which would continue for seven days as usual custom. On 4 February, 10 some perpetrators went to see Puja and they wanted to harass one Hindu girl sexually. Some Hindu people protested this ugly harassment and as a result there was scuffle between them and at one stage 20/25 perpetrators armed with sticks and other wooden lathies attacked the Hindu temple and damaged 6 (six) deities. As a result 4 persons were injured. The local Upazila Chairman Md. Mosharaf Hossain informed that the matter has been compromised.
According to the daily Janakantha (19.1.2010), Seven Murthies (Sarwasati deities) constructed for the purpose of Puja demolished by the perpetrators at Pal Para on Saturday night within Sajahanpur in the district of Bogra. Police informed there was preparation of 12 Sarawasati Deity in the village of Demajani of Sajahanpur Upazila. Those Murthies were constructed for the purpose of ensuring Sarwasati Puja. The deity maker worked till 10 a.m. But in the morning out of 12 Deities 7 seven deities are not traceable. After through search those seven deities were found in the jungle with broken conditions.
According to the daily Sangbad (16.12.2010), A powerful businessman within Muktagacha town of Mymensingh district forcefully occupied lands belonging to Hindus. Because the Hindu victim solicited justice, perpetrators obstructed roads and trying to evict him unlawfully. The victim alleged in a written complain that Ms.Raju Bala constructed a house purchasing .3.00 sataks of lands from Mohammad Hossain in the year, 1989 within Paratongi Mouza and she was staying thereon lawfully. During the period of 4 party alliances the powerful neighbour Abdus Sattar Saju –with connivance of political leaders of BNP-Jamat forcefully occupied those three sataks of lands and constructed building thereon. Abdus Sattar Saju threatened Ms.Raju Bala while she tried to intervene. In this connection there were local arbitrations to mete out justice to this women but the occupant most illegally obstructed roads with a view to grab the lands. In this connection a written complain addressed to the Minister for Lands & Reforms made who directed the Deputy Commissioner for taking necessary action. Consequently the powerful perpetrators became more agitating continuously threatening the members of this destitute minority to leave the country. Ram Das husband of Ms.Raju Bala informing press claimed that he deposited up-to-date rents of to the government. He also requested all concerned to get his lands back and necessary intervention by the highest authority being solicited.
According to the investigation report of Bangladesh Minority Watch and GHRD, on 27 October, 2009 Loly Chakma (15) has gang-raped in Sitakunda of Chittagong. The accused are 1) Zahur Member (40) son of late Hajee Atar Meah of Keshabpur, Lalbagh – P.S. Sitakunda, Chittagoong. 2) Sumon (35) son of Md. Ishaque of do 3) Shamim (26) son of Shah Alam driver, 4) Hannan (30) son of Md. Hanif 5) Nuruzamman Sawdagar (45) son of late Abul Khair, 6) Selim (32) son of late Nurul Hoque, 7) Monaiya @ Mona, (25) son of late Abul , all of Keshabpur, Lalbagh,, P.S. Sitakunda. District-Chittagong.
According to the Janakantha (4.10.2009), Two Minority Families belonging to Hindus at Kalapara Upazila of Patuakhali District of Bangladesh are going to be uprooted from their homestead because of false cases filed by Hashem Sikdar – a land grabber of same locality. Both the Hindu families submitted an appeal to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Ms.Sima and Ms.Ruma -daughters of Makhan Lal of those victims expressed their anguish and submitted an appeal to conscious people of Bangladesh to come forward for their protection of land rights.
According to the daily Star (27.11.2009), At least five women were injured as a local influential person and his men attacked and ransacked 17 houses in an attempt to illegally evict indigenous people in Shialor village in Haripur upazila of Thakurgaon on 26 November, 2009. Of the injured indigenous women, Baramai Maddi, 46, was committed to Haripur Upazila Health Complex in a critical state.
Police said Abdul Alim and his men attacked the indigenous people around 11:30am and badly damaged 17 thatched houses. President of Jatiya Adibashi Parishad of Haripur unit Soniram Hemrom told, about 50 people led by Alim launched the attack for illegally evicting them from Som Maddi’s ancestral land.
Alim claimed he purchased the 3.25 acres of land from Som’s mother 22 years ago. However, Soniram trashed the claim and said in their tradition mothers cannot sell any land. Soniram added on the day of the attack the indigenous male people went to the district headquarters to attend hearing of a case filed by Alim against 200 people to “harass” them.