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U.S. team in Dhaka to probe attacks on Hindus

U.S. team in Dhaka to probe attacks on Hindus

Author: Ershadul Huq, Indo-Asian News Service
Publication: Yahoo News
Date: September 25, 2002
URL: http://in.news.yahoo.com/020925/43/1vldy.html

A U.S. congressional team is here to investigate reports of attacks on Hindus in this country.

The four-member delegation will submit a report to the International Affairs Committee of the U.S. Congress by October 3 in Washington D.C., published reports say.

The team, which arrived here Monday, will meet Hindus who were allegedly tortured by activists of political parties in the period following the October elections in which the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led alliance came to power.

The visit comes even as a minister has accused some Hindu leaders of inciting communal disharmony by asking Hindus to publicise the attacks on them.

Leaders of the Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Committee, the apex body for Durga Puja celebrations, had reportedly urged members of the Hindu community, Bangladesh's largest minority, to speak out at home and abroad against the atrocities.

State Minister for Water Resources Goutam Chakrabarty told the official BSS news agency: "The remarks of these leaders have annoyed members of the Hindu community. It's a suicidal bid and a conspiracy to destroy communal harmony."

He said these leaders did not represent the feelings of the entire community.

The Puja Udjapon Committee has decided to celebrate Durga Puja, the largest Hindu festival here, as usual next month. But they will hang posters and placards at various festival venues to protest the oppression of Hindus.

Last year Hindus held low-key Durga Puja celebrations to protest the wave of attacks that swept the country in the period immediately after October's polls.

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