Attacks on Buddhist Temples
A hazy picture appears
[Bangla Daily Star] A motley group comprising local leaders of pro-Awami League organizations, BNP men, madrasa students and common people were allegedly behind the communal violence at Ramu on Saturday night.
Even some Rohingyas were among the attackers, who destroyed at least 12 temples and dozens of houses belonging to Buddhists in the overnight mayhem.
Shamim Ahsan Bulu, a social activist of Fatehkharpul at the upazila, tried to stop a violent procession in the area that night. He found a youth, who took part in an angry rally and later thrown a stone at him, to be a Rohingya.
Some other witnesses said they too had seen Rohingyas in processions around Saturday midnight.
There is a big Kawmi madrasa, Jama'aetul Ulum Al Islamia, with the central mosque of Ramu. Many say a procession had come out of it to join a rally of vandals.
Its principal denies any involvement of anybody from the madrasa in the anti-Buddhist campaign.
But Habib Ullah, a teacher of this madrasa, said they joined a procession around 9:00pm and came back at 11:00pm. They did not take part in vandalism, he claimed.
Nine teachers and 70 students of the madrasa had joined the demonstration, he added.
Habib said he did not see any derogatory picture of Koran, but joined the agitation just hearing about it. He later received the photo over his mobile phone.
Nazibul Islam, officer-in-charge of Ramu Police Station, also played a dubious role Saturday night.
Instead of taking instant step to ensure security of Buddhists, he was seen on the stage of a rally that night. The rally was organised to protest the Facebook posting of the anti-Islamic photo with which a Buddhist youth was tagged in.
The OC even made some provocative comments.
"I am a Mohammedan. I also should have joined the procession. But I am serving the law. I too am pained. Uttam [the Buddhist youth] will be placed in long-term storage
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
. Please have patience," a madrasa teacher, Ramjan Ali, quoted the OC as saying.
Ramjan's version was corroborated by many others.
Nazibul Islam was withdrawn from the cop shoppe yesterday, but until afternoon, other officers of the station knew nothing about it. They also did not know that Section 144 that bars gatherings has been called off.
...back at the revival hall, the SWAT team had finally arrived...
four cases have been filed against 11 named and 300 to 400 unnamed persons for vandalism and sacrilege of destroying shrines.
These figures compare starkly against as many as 2,500 accused in another case filed for assaults on on-duty coppers during the violence.
Posted by: Fred