A horrific incident happened in Bangladesh on Friday. The incident reaffirmed the fact that minority communities in Islamic countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan live with a sword hanging over their heads. Reports from Bangladesh reveal that a massive mob of about 20,000 Islamists from 6-7 villages marched to a Hindu village in Rangapur’s Thakurbari and burned down 30 houses.
In November 2016, Bangladeshi economist Abul Barkat had predicted that there will be no Hindus left in Bangladesh in the next thirty years. He had stated that around 11.3 million Hindus left Bangladesh between 1964 and 2013 due to religious persecution and discrimination. The average comes to around 632 Hindus leaving the country every day.
What happened on Friday lends greater credibility to his prediction.
The mob ransacked the village, located 300 kilometers to the north from Dhaka, and looted whatever they could find in the houses. They also forcibly took away the cattle of the Hindu villagers before police arrived to control the situation.
Bangladeshi media reports that the Hindus who were attacked are now penniless. Their homes destroyed, belongings looted, the families are now literally living under an open sky.
But why did the mob descend upon the Hindu village. According to reports the fanatics were irked by a ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post allegedly posted by a Hindu from the village. There is still no confirmation on whether the man had actually posted it.
Citing one of the witnesses, who was also a victim, Dhaka Tribune reports that the mob gathered after the Jumma prayers.
One of the victims, Dulali Rani, said:
“A mob came to our neighborhood on Friday afternoon and started ransacking our home without any provocation. They even took our cattle. They burned everything, even my cooking pots. We do not have a place to sleep at night, and no way to cook food.”
This video is going viral on social media. It apparently shows the mob marching towards the village:
After #Pakistan ; Now Bangladesh Has Become The WORST Place For HINDUS – To Live & Survive Peacefully
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— Sourish Mukherjee (@me_sourish) November 12, 2017
The mob was so huge and violent that the police had to fire at them killing one and injuring 20 others. The Daily Star reports that cases have been registered against 2000 unidentified individuals and 25-30 have been named. The police have arrested 53.
While the incident is significant enough to send shockwaves in circles which call for secular-liberal values in the society, many prominent Indian journalists who claim to stand for those values were conspicuous by their silence.
No one’s heart is breaking at the sight of this image:
The media, both national and international, and the UNHRC continue to raise the Rohingya issue but it appears that they do not think that minority Hindus, too, deserve to be called the “most persecuted”.
The voices which demand that India must give shelter to Rohingyas – even though they have no ties to the country ethnically, culturally or historically – are silent when it comes to demanding just treatment of minorities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and otherwise ‘secular’ Bangladesh.
Yess !! This is the real Scenery of Bangladeshi Minority Hindus ! They are totally shelter-less in their own land. Not only 30 houses burnt at Thakurpara, Rangpur. Govt. totally unable to safe peaceful Minority Hindus, cause they are very busy with crying for #RohingyaMuslims pic.twitter.com/5dfjADAmlM
— Sourish Mukherjee (@me_sourish) November 11, 2017
Feel incredibly sad that this was the land of my father, forefathers. Ironic that this is happening under the watch of Sheikh Hasina — none other than Bangabondhu Mujibur Rahman’s daughter — not under the bigoted BNP. #Bangladesh https://t.co/dpzKkOHy7M
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) November 11, 2017
Meanwhile, the authorities in Bangladesh have formed a three-member inquiry committee, headed by an additional district magistrate, to submit a report on the incident in seven days. The man who allegedly made the derogatory post on Facebook lives elsewhere. Locals demanded a probe to verify whether his account was hacked.