Hindu community prepares for Bijoya Dashami Wednesday
The five-day Durga Puja, the largest festival of the Hindu community, comes to an end Wednesday with the solemn immersion of the Goddess Durga across the country. And after the hit that Bangladesh’s secular credentials, or its reputation for communal harmony, took during the same festival last year - with temples and Puja mandaps attacked in multiple districts, all triggered by a deliberate act of provocation in Cumilla - it is safe to say the entire country will feel relieved that this year’s Durga Puja will have passed without much incident. Fingers crossed of course, for the last 24 hours. Devotees will throng Puja mandaps to celebrate Bijoya Dashami, the last day of the festival, recite the mantras, offer flowers to the goddess Durga (pushpanjali) and pray for her blessings. The mandaps across the country have been decorated with beautiful idols, showcasing the goddess in all her glory. Bijoya Dashami is the special ceremony of reaffirming peace and good relations among people. On this day, families visit each other to share sweetmeats. Married Hindu women put vermilion on each other's foreheads on the occasion. Read: No security lapses for Durga Puja: Rab DG In Bangladesh this year, the religious festival is being celebrated at some 32,168 puja mandaps spread throughout the country, including 241 in capital Dhaka. In the capital, thousands of people are set to throng the Buriganga tomorrow to observe the final phase of the festival -- the immersion of the goddess Durga signifying her return to Kailash. Devotees in their tearful eyes will bid farewell to the mother deity and her children – Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh – through the immersion of their idols in the water wishing Durga’s return next year. Meanwhile, there will be strict security measures in place so that Durga Puja ends peacefully. President Abdul Hamid has issued a message greeting the members of the country's Hindu community on the occasion. In his message, President Hamid said the main religious festival of the Bengali Hindu community is Durga Puja. The country’s Hindu community has been celebrating the puja amid huge enthusiasm and festivity with different rituals since ancient times. Also read: Durga puja: A festival that unites Bangladesh! Durga Puja is not just a religious festival, but also a social one, he added. “Communal harmony is the eternal tradition of Bengalis. This tradition must be carried forward in our overall progress together,” he urged all. The five-day festival started on October 1 with the incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga marking Sashthi. Durga Puja, the annual Hindu festival also known as Sharadaya (autumnal) Durgotsob, is the worship of "Shakti" [divine force] embodied in goddess Durga. It symbolises the battle between good and evil where the dark forces eventually succumb to the divine. Close to 8 percent of Bangladesh’s more than 160 million people are Hindu.
Hindu idols vandalised in Bagerhat; 3 held
Two idols including the idol of Hindu goddess Kali were vandalised by unidentified miscreants at the Sarbajanin Kali Temple in Kanainagar of Mongla upazila in Bagerhat district. Miscreants vandalised the idols some time on Saturday night, said police. The incident came to light on Sunday morning when the priests of the temple entered it for worshipping and found the broken parts of the two idols lying on the floor. On information, Asif Iqbal, assistant superintendent of Bagerhat police visited the temple in the morning. Read: Rangamati admin sets new octane-run autorickshaw fares considering price hike Police also detained three people—Rahat Chowdhury, 20, Nayan Munshi, 24 and Asif Khan, 22 from the village in connection with their suspected involvement in the vandalism. Additional police forces have been deployed to ensure security of the temple. A tense situation was prevailing in the area following the incident. Manirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Mongla Police Station, said police are investigating the incident.
Narail vandalism: 5 arrestees put on 3-day remand
A Narail court on Monday placed five people who were arrested Sunday in a case filed over vandalising Hindu houses and shops in Narail over a Facebook post on remand for three days . Senior Judicial Magistrate Md Morshedul Alam passed the order after investigation officer in the case Mizanur Rahman produced the accused before the court and appealed for seven day in remand. The remanded are Masum Billah,32, son of Sadekur Rahman, Md Sayed Sheikh, 25, son of Aminuddin, Rezaul Sheikh, 40, son of Barik Sheikh, Rasel Mridha, 38, son of Eshak Sheikh, and Kabir Gazi, 40, son of Azizul Gazi. The accused were arrested on Sunday night after a case was filed against 250 anonymous people in connection with the vandalism of houses and shops and attacks on two temples at Sahapara village in Lohagara upazila, said Abu Hena Milon, Officer-in-Charge of Lohagara police station. Also read: Narail vandalism: College student put on 3-day remand On Friday, an angry mob went on a rampage in Lohagara upazila of Narail district damaging at least two houses of the Hindu community and several shops at Digholia Bazar following the Facebook post by a youth named Akash Saha. According to police, the college student belonging to the Hindu community posted a remark on Facebook hurting religious sentiments of Muslims on Friday. As the news spread like wildfire, a group of local people thronged Digholia Bazar and vandalised two houses and six shops that night. They also vandalised chairs and sound boxes of Shahapara temple and tin roof of Akhrabari temple during the mayhem. Later police rushed to the spot and took control of the situation. Also read: Narail vandalism: Youth held over Facebook post ‘hurting religious sentiment’ A case was filed against Akash Shaha for hurting religious sentiment by Salah Uddin Kachi Sardar from Dighalia village at Lohagra police station on Saturday. Akash Shaha was arrested from Khulna on the same night and was placed on a three-day remand by a Narail court on Monday.
Bagerhat Hindu house attacked over altercation on India’s prophet comment issue
A Hindu house in Chitalmari upazila in Bagerhat came under attack from an infuriated Muslim mob on Sunday over an earlier altercation regarding derogatory remarks by India's ruling BJP leaders about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The house of Dipak Sarkar, 33, at Chingari village in the upazila was attacked around 2 pm by a group but no one was hurt as the residents managed to flee, said KM Ariful Haque, Superintendent of Bagerhat police to UNB. The attackers later blocked a road in Kunia area but police took control of the situation by detaining Dipak Sarkar, he said. Also read: India’s ‘prophetic' trouble getting bigger Additional police have been deployed to keep the situation under control in the area, said SP Ariful Haque. According to police, a week ago Dipak Sarkar got into an altercation with some local Muslims at a tea stall in the Kunia Bazar area over the Indian ruling political party spokesperson’s comment on the prophet. The attacking group was returning from a human chain held at neighbouring district Gopalganj protesting the incident in India, said SP Ariful Haque. Bimal Sarkar, a 70-year-old neighbour of Dipak, said :“Some hundreds of people attacked the house, vandalized it, and set fire to one part of it. The members of neighbouring Hindu families took shelter at their Muslim neighbour Anis Rahman’s house out of fear.” Also read: Protest rallies held in Bangladesh to condemn remarks against Prophet Lenin Mozumdar, Biva Rani and some other Hindu neighbours of Dipak said they are immensely frightened since the attack.
HC to hear opinion of amici curiae on Hindu inheritance law
The High Court on Sunday sought to hear opinions of amici curiae (friends of the court) on the provision of a law barring Hindu women from inheriting paternal property. The bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Khandaker Diliruzzaman passed the order during a hearing on a writ petition filed in this regard. The amici curiae of the court are Attorney General AM Amin Uddin, senior advocate Prabir Niyogi, senior advocate Subrata Chowdhury and senior advocate Md Kamrul Haque Siddiqui. Apart from them, the court will also hear the opinions of lawyer Tapan Chakraborty, who conducts civil cases on inheritance of followers of Sanatan religion and journalist Pulak Ghatak, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Law Reform Committee. The court also made five human rights organisations complementary petitioners for the writ to hear their opinion in this regard. Also read: ACC official Sharif’s termination: Writ petition filed seeking probe The organisations are- Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), Manusher Jonno Foundation, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Naripokkho. As there are constitutional questions involved with the writ, HC sent the documents to the Chief Justice requesting to form a larger bench to hear it. The larger bench will hear the opinions of amici curiae and the five organisations, said barrister Khayrul Alam Chowdhury, lawyer presenting the petitioner’s side. On February, 13, Ananya Das Gupta, daughter of late Ashok Das Gupta filed the writ petition at the High Court challenging the legality of the provision on Sanatan Hindu religion follower women not receiving any share of inherited assets from father. Also read: Sishu Bokta Rafiqul, another indicted in DSA case On February 14, the court issued a rule in this regard. Eight respondents including the Cabinet Division secretary, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs secretary, Religious Affairs secretary and Hindu Religious Welfare Trust were asked to reply to the rule within a week.
Protesting recent communal attacks, Hindus issue 24 hrs ultimatum before withdrawing Shahbagh blockade
Thousands of protesters on Monday blocked traffic at Shahbagh intersection for sveral hours to denounce the recent violence against minority Hindus in different parts of the country. Joined by Dhaka University students the protesters from the Hindu community threatened to continue the blockade indefinitely. However, around 2pm, they called off the sit-in programme following assurance from the authorities. Also read: Quran desecration: Protesters clash with police in Baitul Mukarram area The protesters were seen chanting slogans demanding a separate ministry for the minorities and asking the administration to answer why the temples were attacked. Their demands include: Formation of a special tribunal and investigate the negligence of local administration, ensure exemplary punishment for those involved in the attacks ,formation of separate ministry and commission for the country's minorities ,properly compensate the victim families and businesses , povide necessary treatment to those who got injured in the attacks , immediately rebuild the damaged temples, houses, and other establishments , make new law to ensure highest punishment for communal attacks , allocate 15 per cent of the country's GDP for minority communities,, revamp Hindu Religious Welfare Trust, release all Hindus arrested since the 13 October incident and compensate them , take measures to prevent the spread of communalism and prevent extremists and anti-independence forces from tarnishing Bangladesh's image. They vowed to continue their protest until their demands are met. Also read: Hindu people demonstrate in Noakhali The blockade triggered severe traffic gridlock in Shahbagh, Paltan, Science Lab, Elephant Road, Bangla Motor and the adjacent areas. Earlier on 13 September, a reported demeaning of the holy Quran stoked communal tensions in Cumilla. Following the incident, attacks were carried out on puja mandaps, temples, houses, and business establishments belonging to the Hindu community in at least 10 districts of the country.
Mahalaya on Wednesday
The Hindus in the country will celebrate the Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion heralding the advent of goddess Durga. Mahalaya that is considered as ceremonial invocation of goddess Durga is observed seven days prior to the initiation of the Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the Hindu community. Hindus believe the earth prepares itself and welcomes the coming of the Goddess and her children, through the celebration. Also read: Durga Puja: Covid crumbles market for Kurigram artisans Durga Puja will begin on October 11 with different rituals on the day of Maha Shashthi. MahanagarSarbajanin Puja Committee has arranged special programmes of Mahalaya at Dhakeshwari National Temple. On this day, Hindus remember and pay homage to the deceased ancestors by performing a puja, and offering Brahmins clothes, food and sweets in their name. Also read: Durga Puja: PM donates Tk 3 crore
Attack on Hindu houses in Sunamganj: Prime accused held in Moulvibazar
Members of Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) arrested the prime accused in a case over the attack on Hindu houses in Sunamganj's Shalla upazila from Kulaura upazila in Moulvibazar district on Saturday.