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Hindu families evicted forcibly in Narayangunj, Bangladesh

Local Awami League leader leads culprits

Adding one more chapter to the harrowing narrative of ongoing religious persecution in Bangladesh, seven Hindu families, living in Panchabati, Fatulla in Narangunj Sadar Upazilla (sub-district headquarters) within the district of Narayangunj in the Dhaka division of Bangladesh, have been uprooted from the 150-year old zamindar (landlord) mansion in the area. They were uprooted without any notice and at the behest of a local Muslim leader of Awami League, reigning political party in the country castigated frequently by radical Muslim outfits for having an alleged secular viewpoint. Hindu members of the persecuted families are living in fields, as a result.

On the word of Kanan Bala Mandal, age 90 years and also a victim of forcible eviction, the mansion had been built 150 years ago by ancestors of a Hindu individual named Narayan Chandra Saha and this family happens to be the landlord at the moment. However, fearing attacks on Hindus during the struggle for liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, Narayan Chandra Saha, leaving 10 Hindu families of his employees in his residence, went to India. Following the war of 1971, 10 Muslim families intruded the mansion and started living there. She stated that Md. Shahidulllah, vice-president of Fatulla police station Awami League, occupied the third floor of the mansion after 1990 and started to inhabit there along with his whole family. He relocated later on.

As per the aged Hindu lady, Lokenath temple was established in the house almost 15 years back and altogether, 15 Hindu families used to inhabit there at that time. On June 14 or Saturday, following the instruction of Md. Shahidulllah, the same temple was destructed by a group of Muslims and on June 13, 3 Hindu families had been expelled forcibly. The Awami League leader was involved in destroying 5 buildings within the mansion as well as deracinating 4 Hindu families. The spate of destruction stopped once police reached the spot and requested them to discontinue

Nevertheless, Md. Shahidulllah, local leader of Awami League, has a different story altogether. In accordance with him, a person named Mannan had bought 20 shatak land from Narayan Chandra Saha against four thousand taka (Bangladeshi currency) in 1975. Md. Shahidulllah, in 1978, purchased the same land from Mannan, at 25, 000 taka. When he was asked of the need to acquire the land after so many years and all of a sudden, Md. Shahidulllah termed the reason as personal.            

But this narrative has failed to impress Hindus who described Md. Shahidulllah as a pathological liar and the entire campaign as fallout of a graver conspiracy. There is no doubt in it that lots of Hindu families either in the district of Narayangunj or its vicinity have been uprooted within a span of last few months in this manner. And in most cases local Muslim leaders of Awami League act as complicit. What has been the role of local police and administration then? Studies reveal that in most cases police is found to abet such a crime in hope of good shares or mere profits. Even if a few police officers try to investigate honestly and help Hindus to get justice, they are either transferred or have to earn wrath of local parties. In this case, Hindus claim that Islamists are found to sing in a common tune.

Hindu Samhati regularly monitors and reports violations against Hindus in West Bengal. We also work with both governmental and NGO agencies for proper education on protection and ensure remedies to the Hindu populace as per prevailing law of the land.


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