New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today condemned ongoing attacks on the Buddhist and Hindu minorities at Ramu, Ukhia, Patia and Teknaf under Chittagong Division of Bangladesh by the Muslim religious fanatics since the evening of 29 September 2012. At least 24 temples have been burnt down, dozens of Buddhist villages attacked displacing thousands of minorities. When the last report was received by ACHR on mid-night of 30 September 2012, the religious fanatics had burnt down the Paschimratna Sudarshon Buddhist Vihar, situated in the heart of Ukhia upazila's Court Bazaar area. (Please visit http://achrweb.org/press/2012/CHT_temples_destroyed.html/ for the images)
The 24 temples burnt include 15 in Ramu Upazila (sub-district), four in Patia Police Station and five under Ukhia Upazila have been burnt to ashes. The burnt temples include 22 Buddhist temples and two Hindu temples while about 100 houses belonging to the Buddhist minorities have also been torched.
The 22 Buddhist temples burnt include Lakhara Abhoy Buddhist Vihar, Kolagaon Rotnangkur Buddhist Vihar, Ramu Maitree Vihar, Saada Chinglaal, Ramy Sina Vihar, Jadiparha Bouddha Vihar, Borokang Buddha Vihar, Kendriyo Shima Vihar, Baruapara Buddhist Vihar, Bimukti Bidarshan Babna Centre, Srikul Maitree Vihar, Progga Mitra Vihar, Uttar Mithachari Bimurta Bhabona Kendra, Ukhia Ghona Jojoba Vihar, Srikul Natun Vihar, Lal Ching Bihar, Sada Ching Vihar, Mahajan Vihar, Ramu Kendrya Shima Rajbon Vihar, Pashchim Ratna Sudarshan Buddha Vihar, Balukia Kalachand Bijoyanta Bibekaram Vihar and 250-year old Cheranghata Barakyang Temple.
The two Hindu temples burnt are Kolagaon Nobarun Sangha Durga Mandir (temple) and the Matri Mandir at Jele Para under Pakia sub-district.
The attackers smashed the Buddhist statues and set fire to a statue of Goddess Durga at the Nobarun Sangha Mandir.
“It is clear that 24 hours since the attacks were launched, the security forces including the Bangladesh Police and the Rapid Action Battalion remain mute witness to the systematic violence against religious minorities. The security forces have failed to arrest any of the culprits. The only person arrested was one Mr Uttam Kumar Barua, a Buddhist minority.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
“The latest attacks are part of wider conspiracy against religious minorities in which the Bangladesh Army personnel and the Islamic religious fundamentalists are involved. On 22-23 September 2012, the Bangladesh Army personnel organized a massive communal attack on the indigenous Jumma peoples at Rangamati town in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in which 80 indigenous Jummas were injured and the properties of the indigenous peoples were destroyed. The attackers were outsiders but the Bangladesh Army and the police failed to arrest any of the culprits.” – further stated Mr Chakma.
In separate communications, Asian Centre for Human Rights urged the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh and the UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon to intervene with the Government of Bangladesh to immediately bring an end to the attacks on religious minorities, to bring perpetrators to justice, re-build all the temples burnt, provide adequate compensation to those whose properties have been destroyed and ensure proper rehabilitation of the displaced minorities.