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Bangladesh: Durga Puja pandals vandalized, 4 dead; here's all you need to know

11:45 PM Oct 14, 2021 | Aritra Singha

Dhaka: Some Hindu temples in Bangladesh were vandalised during Durga Puja celebrations, constraining the government to deploy paramilitary force in 22 districts.

Four people died, and many others were injured in the ensuing riots, media reports said on Thursday.

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According to the locals, violence erupted after news spread on social media that the Quran was allegedly desecrated at a Durga Puja pandal near Nanuar Dighi lake in Comilla town.

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Taking note of the violence, Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Asking him to take steps against the alleged culprits, Suvendu said that the condition of Hindus in Bangladesh was ‘miserable’. He said in a tweet that it was an orchestrated attack on the Sanatani Bengali community.

“A scandalous day in the history of Bangladesh... We cannot publish in a tweet what has happened in the last 24 hours,’’ said the Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council. VHP South Bengal spokesperson Sourish Mukherjee said that the ‘barbaric attack’ was ‘shameful’. TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh also urged the Prime Minister to discuss the matter with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen dubbed the incident as an ‘excuse to attack Hindus’.

The elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the armed police were also ordered to be on guard with the BGB in 22 of the 64 administrative districts and elsewhere to contain any violence, a Home Ministry spokesperson said in Dhaka.

Media reports have said that the police opened fire on a mob of over 500 people.

Hindus make up some 10 per cent of the Muslim-majority Bangladesh's 169 million population. In the past several years, there have been reports of sporadic violence, mostly sparked by rumours spread on social media.

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