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Bangladesh: Hindu Households Ignited in Nasirnagar due to a Facebook Post that kindled Communal Tension

The unrest caused is a result of a Facebook post by a local youth, Rasraj Das, which was considered defamatory

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Bangladesh, November 5, 2016: Amidst the tension and chaos over the attacks on Hindu community, anonymous assailants incinerate five houses in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria district in Bangladesh on Friday. The attacks took place around 3AM and then around 6:30PM.

The razed homes were in the villages of Banikpara, Jaynagar Pashchimpara and Hashpatalpara. The houses were lighted up around 3am but there were no casualties or injuries. The villagers from these neighboring villages said, the fire started in sheds and kitchens. The next attack was around 6:30pm in Chotipara under the Gukorno union.

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A respected resident, Manoranjan Banik told Dhaka Tribune about the close call he had with the fire in his household in Banikpara. He says that he has never felt such helplessness in his life. The attack happened a while after they had returned from a funeral, his daughter told Dhaka Tribune.

In Hashpatalpara, a son alerted his family after discovering a fire in the kitchen which was next to his room. He told Dhaka tribune that he woke up on smelling fire and then alerted everyone in the house.

On investigating the scenes, the Upazila Nirbahi Officer Chowdhury Md Moazzem Hossain said that although 11 homes were burnt, the crimes took place in 5 of them out of which one had a shrine.

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The unrest caused is a result of a Facebook post by a local youth, Rasraj Das, which was considered defamatory. The attacks occurred even after Das apologized and claimed that his account had been hacked. The assaults were incited by mosques which announced through megaphones in their areas telling the people how a Hindu had defamed the Holy Kaaba. The locals told the Dhaka Tribune that they heard declarations in several villages out of which Norpur, Asurain and Phulpur are home to Muslim radicals.

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The escalating violence has left the people distraught. They fear that the next wave of attacks might be a direct hit on their lives instead of their households or properties. Many families have relocated or crossed the border after the attacks. The ones who have not are caged inside their homes because of the terror of attacks. The Hindus who did not flee during the 1971 Liberation War after many of them were slaughtered now think it was their last chance to escape and save themselves.

– prepared by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

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A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

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The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)