A Hindu temple was vandalised and seven idols of goddess Kali were on Sunday destroyed by some miscreants in two separate incidents in Bangladesh, weeks after over 10 temples of the minority community were attacked in the Muslim-majority nation. The first incident came to light after people of Mymensinghorohi village in Netrokona district found the doors of a temple open on Sunday morning.
Upon entering its premises, they noticed the temple was vandalised. Four broken idols of goddess Kali were also found lying close to the temple, a senior police officer told reporters. Immediately, police launched an investigation. “We have collected evidence of the vandalism and started a probe. It was learnt that the temple’s doors were not locked. We are looking for those behind this heinous act,” Netrokona sadar police Officer-in-Charge Shahnur-e-Alam said.
Netrokona Additional District Magistrate Abdul Matin said those responsible will be punished. “We are treating the case with priority. A group with vested interests may have carried out the crime to disrupt communal harmony,” Netrokona Superintendent of Police Joydeb Chowdhury.
In a separate incident, unidentified assailants vandalised three Kali statues in clandestine predawn attack on a Hindu temple in northwestern Pabna district. “Three statues of Hindu goddess Kali were found broken at a temple at Bera (sub-district) of Pabna… the miscreants visibly entered the temple early in the morning and damaged the statues,” a police officer told reporters in Pabna.
Badal Ghosh, secretary of the Sharifpur Kali Temple committee, demanded immediate arrest of the attackers. There have been several incidents of attacks on Hindu temples in the past. In October last week, miscreants set on fire at least six houses of Hindus in a predawn attack in Brahmanbarhia district’s Nasirnagar, the place where at least 15 temples and more than 20 houses were vandalised after a Facebook post deemed offensive to Islam sparked outrage in the country.
A cyber cafe owner was arrested last month for allegedly masterminding attacks on Hindu temples and houses. The attacks on several Hindu temples in Bangladesh were carried out under a well orchestrated plan aimed at grabbing lands of the minority community, National Human Rights Commission had said.