The recent attacks in Brahmanbaria, Habiganj, and Khagrachari are tied together by a common thread.
They were both deliberate, calculated, and manufactured.
An alarming pattern has emerged, one that goes back to the attacks on the Buddhist temples in Ramu four years ago -- false flag attacks are being cooked up against minority communities to make the victims look like they are at fault.
Step one for these miscreants is to rile up anger against a minority group by making a Facebook post or a comment on a public platform that may be considered insulting to Islam, and falsely attributing it to a member of the minority community.
The second step is to whip up a crowd into a frenzy of hatred and anger towards the minority.
Finally, indiscriminate violence is carried out against innocent citizens, while law enforcement officers often stand by doing nothing, complicit in these crimes.
Religious and ethnic minorities, in any context, are particularly vulnerable to communal hatred, and are less likely to see justice for crimes of assault, vandalism, and looting.
But with a manufactured pretext, large swathes of the population are duped into thinking that they “deserved it” -- thus making them look like the aggressors in the atrocities committed against them.
What we thus have here are crimes of the most serious nature, which need to be punished swiftly and harshly.
Those who are behind these calculated assaults to foment discord and cook up an excuse for a riot and mayhem are enemies of society, state, and secularism.
They are criminals of the worst kind, and there can be no mercy for the crime they commit -- the crime of fomenting hatred in order to persecute and dispossess a helpless minority.
Our law enforcement must make a priority to identify all the key players behind these manufactured attacks, and bring them to book immediately.