Dhaka, Feb 5 – Unknown miscreants vandalized 14 Hindu temples in Baliadangi Upazila of Bangladesh’s Thakurgaon district overnight, officials said on Sunday.
There was anger and fear among people who thronged the temples to view the aftermath of the vandalism, and police was deployed all the temples.
The attacks took place between Saturday night and Sunday morning at different villages in Dhantala, Charol and Paria Unions in the area, Baliadangi Police Station chief Khairul Anam said.
Superintendent of Police Mohammad Jahangir Hossain, who inspected the temples, told IANS that police officials are probing whether the vandalising of these idols with the aim of destroying communal harmony and tarnishing the image of the country. However,the perpetrators of the incident have not yet been identified, he added.
District Commissioner M. Mahbubur Rahman said that those who are carrying out activities to disturb the peace and harmony of the town will soon be brought to book and given exemplary punishment.
Baliandangi Upazila Puja Celebration Council General Secretary Bidyanath Barman said nine temples in Dhantala, one in Charol and four in Paria were attacked. The temples were dedicated to Haribasar, Lord Krishna, Manasa, Luxmi and Kali, among others. “The hands, feet, and heads of the idols were smashed to bits. Some were broken and left in the pond,” he said.
“We want the authorities to investigate this thoroughly and apprehend the culprits.”
As the news of the attacks spread, the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police inspected the temples.
“After taking a look, it appeared to me that the act was intentional. It was done to disrupt the peaceful situation of the country,” the SP said, vowing to identify and make those responsible face justice.
The Deputy Commissioner said authorities would take steps to prevent such incidents in the future.
District Puja Celebration Council General Secretary Tapan Kumar Ghosh also visited the temples, along with local Hindu people. At the Haribasar Temple in Sindurpindi, he said: “This temple is large and a traditional one. Many people regularly visit this place. All the idols here have been smashed. This is tragic and frightening.”
Baliandangi Upazila Parishad Chairman M. Ali Aslam said: “The temples where idols were vandalised are right beside the road without any security measure in place. I hope law enforcers will take steps to prevent this from happening again. Everyone must stay vigilant.”