‘Perpetrators Will Be Hunted Down, Punished,’ Warns Sheikh Hasina Over Attacks On Durga Puja Pandals

Bangladesh is on edge a day after violence erupted during Durga Puja. It will be a tricky situation for the police on Friday as Muslims will offer their prayers while the Hindus immerse the idols of Durga.

Meanwhile, the situation in Bangladesh remained tense on Friday with Muslims offering weekly prayers and Hindus in the country engaged in the immersion of Durga puja idols amid the violence that erupted in Cumilla over the alleged desecration of the Quran at a Durga Puja venue on the bank of Nanuar Dighi.

Hindu temples were vandalised by mobs during Durga Puja celebrations. At least four people were killed during clashes at Hajiganj sub-district in Chandpur bordering Cumilla on Wednesday leaving dozens injured in clashes in multiple districts so far.

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came out strongly against the perpetrators of communal violence and warned anyone involved in the attacks on Hindu temples and Durga Puja venues in Cumilla will not be spared irrespective of which religion they belong to.

“The incidents in Cumilla are being thoroughly investigated. Nobody will be spared. It doesn’t matter which religion they belong to. They will be hunted down and punished,” she said on Thursday, according to Dhaka Tribune.

Hasina made the remarks while exchanging greetings with people of the Hindu community during an event at Dhakeshwari National Temple in Dhaka on the occasion of Durga Puja. She was addressing the program from Ganabhaban through a video conference.

The violence later spread to a number of Durga Puja venues in Noakhali, Chandpur, Cox’s Bazaar, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj, Pabna, Moulvibazara and Kurigram, according to PTI report. A home ministry spokesperson said that the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) troops have been deployed in 22 districts across the country to stop the spread of violence, as per the report.

The elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the armed police were also ordered to be on guard with the BGB in 22 of the 64 administrative districts and elsewhere to contain any violence, he said.

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