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Attack on Sunamganj Hindus: 89 houses, 8 temples damaged

  • Published at 12:16 pm March 22nd, 2021
Sunamganj Hefazat vandlism
File photo: Thousands of Hefazat-e-Islam followers gather at Noagaon village of Shalla upazila in Sunamganj to vandalize the houses of Hindu community on March 17, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

The law enforcers have arrested 33 people so far in connection with the attack

In the attack led by Hefazat-e-Islam supporters on Hindu houses at Noagaon village of Shalla upazila of Sunamganj on Wednesday, 89 houses and eight temples were damaged in total.

The information was revealed by the Upazila Parishad (UP) chairman's office in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, an invaluable touchstone idol was also stolen from the altar of Asim Chakraborty's house in the village during the attack. All in all, the estimated loss in the attack (excluding the touchstone idol) has been set at Tk97.5 lakh.

The statement was filed by Vivekananda Majumder alias Bakul, chairman of the local Habibpur Union Parishad and a resident of Noagaon village.

According to the statement, the assailants broke into 89 houses and looted valuables, money, gold ornaments and vandalized various household items, including furniture inside the houses.

They looted gold ornaments worth around Tk25 lakh, and goods worth around Tk52.5 lakh, and stole between Tk30-35 lakh in cash, from different houses in the village, the statement read.

Doors, windows, fences, indoor furniture and other necessities of life were estimated at Tk45 lakh.

Also Read - Prime accused held over attack on Hindu houses in Sunamganj

The grand total loss (minus the invaluable statue) has been set at Tk96,50,000.

The accused also attacked eight temples and smashed the idols of the temples and other items of the temple.

The statement further mentioned that the perpetrators of violence used expletives directed at the Hindus, dragged out the men and women hiding inside the house, and beat them up.

The statement said that the screams of the oppressed people created a frightening and horrible situation across the village.

Thousands of Hefazat-e-Islam supporters attacked a Hindu village in Shalla upazila of Sunamganj on Wednesday morning.

The incident occurred after Hefazat-e-Islam Amir Allama Junaid Babunagari, Joint Secretary General Mawlana Mufti Mamunul Haque and several other central leaders attended a conference at Derai upazila on Monday.

Enraged by Mawlana Mamunul Haque's speech at the conference, a young Hindu man from Noagaon in Shalla upazila on Tuesday allegedly posted a Facebook status criticizing Mamunul, who had earlier opposed the sculpture of Bangabandhu. Hearing of this, the mob with makeshift weapons attacked the village on Wednesday.

On Saturday, the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) apprehended the prime suspect, Shahidul Islam Swadhin, at Gurabhui village of Kulaura upazila in Moulvibazar.

Also Read - Hefazat-e-Islam followers attack Hindu houses in Sunamganj

Locals said Shahidul is an inhabitant of Nachoni village in Derai upazila. He is the member of Ward 5 under Sarmangal Union Parishad in Derai upazila of Sunamganj. He is also the president of Ward 5 unit Jubo League. 

Shalla police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Nazmul Haque said the law enforcers had so far arrested 33 people, including Shahidul, after the incident of the attack. 

Meanwhile, two separate cases were filed on Thursday accusing hundreds of people in connection with the attack by Hefazat-e-Islam supporters.

One of the cases was lodged by the police, accusing some 1,500 unnamed people, and the other by Habibpur Union Parishad Chairman Vivekananda Majumder against 50 named and around 1,500 unnamed persons.

Mamunul's supporters brought out a procession in the area at night on March 16, accusing the Hindu man of hurting religious sentiments, according to OC Nazmul Haque. 

The Hindu man was detained the same night to calm the Hefazat supporters, he said.

On March 17 morning, thousands of Mamunul's followers from Kashipur, Nachni, Chandipur and other villages inhabited by Muslims attacked Noagaon village with sticks and locally made weapons.

They ransacked Hindu homes and looted valuables as the residents fled the village, the police official added.

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