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The Minority Situation in Bangladesh

The Minority Situation in Bangladesh

Publication: Mayerdak
Date: December 18, 2002
URL: http://www.mayerdak.com/minsitdec2002.htm

The ultra Islamic coalition government of Bangladesh's Prime MInister Khaleda Zia includes as it's partner the Islamic supremacist Jamaat-E-Islami. For many years, the Janaat was led by Golam Azam, a rabid communalist, who had returned from Pakistan when General Zia, Khaleda ZIa's husband was still alive and in power as the nation's president.

Right wing Islamic chauvinist groups in Bangladesh are campaigning to turn the  country into a state similar to Taliban ruled Afghanistan or Islamic Sudan, where minorities are non-existant and/or enslaved and liberal Muslims and women are marginalized. The Jamaat-E-Islami and other Bangladesh based hate groups have a idol in Osama bin Laden, the terrorist who masterminded the 2001 attacks on the United States resulting in the deaths of over 3000 civilians.

Golam Azam resigned in December 2000, and Motiur Rahman Nizami, another reactionary Muslim fundamentalist, took over as the new amir (chief) of the party amid wide protests and demands that he be put on trial for war crimes he committed during the liberation war as the head of a notorious paramilitary force, the Al-Badar. In one particular incident on December 3, 1971, some members of that force seized the village of Bishalikkha at night in search of freedom fighters, beating many and killing eight people. When Nizami's appointment was made public, veterans of the liberation war burnt an effigy of him during a public rally. In October 2001, Nizami was appointed minister for agriculture, an important post in a mainly agricultural country such as Bangladesh. His deputy, Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid, became minister for social welfare.

New York : Activists of the Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council protesting  against the repression on minorities and liberal Muslims in Bangladesh by the Islamic fundamentalist groups, often covertly and overly backed by government consituents.

Various international groups including HRCBM(Human RIghts Congress for Bangladesh Minorities), International Federation of Bangla Hindus, along with the Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity COuncil held protests all over the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe.

Jamaat has 17 seats in Bangladesh's parliament - and two ministers in the government - suggest a dramatic increase. Its youth organization, Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), is especially active. It is a member of the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations as well as the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and has close contacts with other radical Muslim groups in Pakistan, the Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesia. One of its main strongholds is at the university in Chittagong, and it dominates the Deobandi madrassas all over the country, from where it draws most of its new members. It has been implicated in a number of bombings and politically and religiously motivated assassinations.

Ongoing incidents of the increasing violence perpetrated by the right wing Muslim organizations on the religious and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh, reported by Mayer Dak correspondents based there, are listed below: -

Buddhist Monk Jayan Joyeti was murdered by a right wing Muslim gang. His head was  completely separated from his body. This incident occurred in the Buddhist monastery during midnight at Raojan under Chittagong district. The cadres of BNP central leader & Advisor on Parlamentery Affairs of Prime Minister Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury claimed credit for this crime.

( 1 )  Recently, the Buddhist residents of Motherbuniya village in Bangladesh's Cox Bazar district are facing severe persecution from local right wing Muslim reactionary groups. The minority community'swomen are suffering from sexual harassments. A land belonging to a Buddhist temple committee was forcefully captured by the fundamentalists. The Buddhsits protested against them. As a result, one Islamic extremist died in the clash and confrontation. After this incident attacks on tribal buddhists have surpassed all previous records. Different areas under the Ukhia police station locality are now the target of the fundamentalists.

( 2 )  15th October, 2002: At the Gonergaon village of the Kotiadi sub-district of Kishorgunge district, Namita Rani Suttradhar (13), the daughter of Gopal Chandra Suttradhar, a Hindu resident has been raped by a Islamic extremist. Namita is a student of class seven. Namita's father filed a case againt the culprit in the local court. Now a group of Muslim fundamentalists are continuous threatening the Suttradhar family.

( 3 )  19th November, 2002: At the area under Madhukhali police station of Faridpur district, the traditional ''Rash'' festival of the Hindus was attacked and totally destroyed by the Bangladesh police. The police inspector Mohammed Nure Alam appeared 12 hours before the festival started. He tortured the organiser of the function Sujit Mondal. Ten thousand Hindus could not perform and participate in the Rash festival.

Desecrated and destroyed murthi(deity) of Goddess Durga at Fatullah,  Bangladesh. The Durga Puja(religious function) is the grandesh of Bangladesh's Hindu population and has been celebrated since time immemorial (9th October, 2002).

Countless Durga Puja pandals all over Bangladesh have been attacked, desecrated, and destroyed. In many localities, as in 1990, Hindus were forbidden to even perform this festival and some Hindu groups only did 'Ghat' (symbolic) Puja.

( 4 )  4th November, 2002: A Hindu named Monimohan Abadi (87) of the South Jalirpar village of the Muksudpur sub-district of Gopalgunge district has been mercilessly tortured by a group of Muslim fundamentalists. They threw a acid bottle towards him. Monibabu's eye has been destroyed in acid. At present he is under threatment.

( 5 )  Recently, at the Baroshila village of the Pabna district a Hindu villager Khudiram Haldar, a Hindu was being mercilessly tortured by Islamic supremacists, who threatened him to leave Muslim majority Bangladesh and leave for India.

Madan Gopal Goswami, a prominent Hindu priest was knifed and stabbed to death in the Hindu temple  where he preached at midnight by the the members of the extemist Jubadal, the youth group of BNP(the party of the nation's prime minister) at Manikchari under Khagrachari district.

( 6 )  Recently, the Hindu family of Gopal Ram (45) and Naresh Ram (55) of the Saheb- bazar area of the Rajshahi district are facing severe persecution. Islamic zealots have planned to take away all their lands and properties. Some of the armed men threatened this hindu family to leave Bangladesh immediately and migrate to India.

( 7 )  Recently, ten crores takas (U.S. $ 2 million) has been displaced in the office of Bangladesh Railways. But this news was leaked out by a Hindu worker of the Bangladesh Railways named Dulal Chandra Dutta. As a result, Dulal was mercilessly beaten up by some Muslim fundamentalists, which also included railway workers. Dulal has been suspended. The incident took place in Gaibanda station.

( 8 )  A Hindu female student named Shipra Rani Sarkar belonging to the Chatol Uchcha Vidyalaya of the Katiyadi sub- district of the Kishorgunge district was kidnapped by a group of Islamic fanatics on 20th August.

Cadres of the Islamic Oikyo Jote(Islamic Unity Council), another right wing  Muslim fundamentalist group holds regular rallies to enact and popularize their brand of Islam.

( 9 )  On 6th November, 2002, Vimal Chandra Chakma (40), the teacher of the Karikang governmental primary school has been kidnapped by a group of Muslim supremacists as he refused to pay a zizya tax (tax levied by Muslims on non Muslims) of fifteen lakhs (U.S. $ 30,000).

( 10 )  4th October at Tangail, 2002, at the Dhanbari municipality area a right wing Muslim fundamentalist gang destroyed the murthi (deity) of Durga goddess in the Singhata Puja pandal. A case was filed by the Hindus in the Dhanbari police station. The police have arrested two local Muslims.

( 11 )  Recently, another news have come to us lately that at the Karmakar Patti of the Chitolmari sub-district of Bagerhat, some Muslim fundamentalists have destroyed a Hindu murthi (deity) of Vishwakarma.

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