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Trauma, hatred haunt children in Nasirnagar

  • Published at 12:33 am November 5th, 2016
  • Last updated at 12:35 am November 5th, 2016
Trauma, hatred haunt children in Nasirnagar
A two-and-a-half-year-old girl in Kashipara, one of the neighbourhoods in Brahmanbaria's Nasirnagar upazila, has not calmed down since she witnessed strange men suddenly breaking into her home ransacking the place. The child is terrified that the strange men will come again and destroy what is left of their home. When an angry mob demolished and burned down at least 12 temples and a number of Kali Puja pavilions on Sunday over a satiric Facebook post, they did not stop at that – some also attacked Hindu households and robbed them of all valuables. Two attacks in the space of five days – miscreants again set fire to five more Hindu homes in the early hours of Friday – have left the entire Hindu community in Nasirnagar in a state of shock, fear and uncertainty. Most Hindus are unable to comprehend why they were attacked. This correspondent visited some affected areas of Nasirnagar on Friday, where all the victims of the vicious attack wore the same look of shock and bafflement. But the most affected are the children. In Kashipara, two boys, both under the age of 10, were playing on a field in the afternoon when this correspondent approached them. One of the boys, a five-grader, said he and his sister were taken hostage by the attackers so their parents would give up the keys to their wardrobe. “They slapped me and beat me,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. The other boy said he hid in the kitchen of his home when he heard the attackers coming. It is not only shock and terror that has left an imprint on these boys. “We learnt that it was Muslims who attacked us. We hate them, and we will never forget what happened,” one of the boys said vehemently. In Hashpatalpara, a sixth-grader witnessed his family home being attacked both the times and is now deeply traumatised after seeing their house getting burnt down. His mother, Rani, said: “He is constantly afraid of another attack and keeps asking me why Muslims are attacking our deities.” The latest attack has been particularly terrifying for the boy, his mother said. “Now he is afraid to go to school.” Several other families told this correspondent that their children had fallen ill from the shock and horror of the attacks. Padma Debi, a resident of Banikpara, said her seven-year-old and six-year-old nieces had been vomiting constantly since the attacks. “We took them to the doctor's, who said they were reacting to the trauma they suffered during those attacks,” she added. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Padma kept wondering what was happening in their home. “We don't understand what is going on. This is our home. Our families have been living here since before the independence of Bangladesh. We have always lived here in harmony with Muslims. Even when Hindus were a majority in Brahmanbaria and only a small number of Muslims lived here, we lived peacefully. But recently things have changed. I don't know why,” she said.
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