GUWAHATI: The voices of atrocities against the religious minorities in Bangladesh are being heard loud not just in Dhaka but in far off Paris.
The World Hindu Federation and some other religious minority organisations held a protest demonstration in Paris on July 13 to try and draw the attention of the international community to the incidents.
They alleged 79 Hindus were killed, 77 Hindus were kidnapped and 95 Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam in the last six months in Bangladesh.
Dipan Mitra, who is the World Hindu Federation’s Bangladesh chapter secretary general, alleged Hindu teachers had been among the targets.
“There have been several incidents where Hindu teachers were threatened, tortured, publicly humiliated, arrested and killed by the Islamic fundamentalists,” Mitra told The New Indian Experss over the phone from Paris on Monday.
“Nine teachers were sent to jail in past one year. One was bludgeoned to death with cricket stumps. Two were garlanded with shoes in public and humiliated. In all these cases, the victims were accused of blasphemy,” he added.
The World Hindu Federation leader said in the latest incident three days ago, the miscreants had vandalised a temple and shops and houses of the Hindus at Sahapara village in Narail district. He said the attack was perpetrated over an alleged objectionable Facebook post.
“Not a single perpetrator has been punished yet. There is also no trial despite the numerous incidents of atrocities against Hindus, Buddhists and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh,” Mitra lamented.
The religious minority organisations demanded action against all the culprits and warned of intensified protests.
“We have been for long staging protests in different parts of Bangladesh demanding an end to the incidents and action against the culprits. But the government is unmoved. So, we decided to stage the protest in Paris to let the international community know about things happening in Bangladesh,” Mitra said.
Bangladeshi expatriates – both Hindus and Muslims – were among those who participated in the demonstration. The speakers condemned the alleged attacks. Dr Philippe Benoit, Head of Bangla Department, Inalco University, Paris expressed solidarity with the protestors, Mitra said.