Fourteen Hindu temples were vandalised in northeastern Bangladesh in what police believe was a series of orchestrated attacks by unidentified vandals.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday in Dhantala, Paria and Charul regions.
“Unidentified people carried out the attacks under the cover of darkness, vandalising idols in 14 temples in three unions (lowest local government tier),” said Bidyanath Barman, a Hindu community leader at Baliadangi) sub-district in Thakurgaon, reports PTI news agency.
According to reports, nine idols in the Sindurpindi area of Dhantala union, four in Collegepara area of Paria union and 14 idols in a temple in Sahbajpur Nathpara area of Charol union were vandalised.
Chairman of Baliadangi sub-district, Md Ali Aslam Jewel said that the vandalised idols were thrown unsafely on the side of the road.
Baliadangi police station Officer-in-charge (OC) Khairul Anam told Dhaka Tribune newspaper, “We believe that these incidents took place between Saturday night to Sunday morning.”
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Thakurgaon Superintendent of Police Mohammad Jahangir Hossain said, ” It clearly appears to be a case of an orchestrated attack to disrupt the peaceful situation of the country.”
He vowed to track down the vandals and assured to punish vandals with “stern legal actions”.
This (attack) is the manifestation of a conspiracy against peace and communal harmony…this is a serious crime and the perpetrators will face the music,” Thakurgaon’s deputy commissioner or administrative chief Mahbubur Rahman said.
The incident has caused panic among the minority Hindu community who have sought strict actions against the culprits.
“We are in a state of panic. Those involved in this incident should be arrested quickly’, Kashinath Singh, a resident of the Sindurpindi area, told Dhaka Tribune newspaper.
(With inputs from agencies)
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