South Asians for Human Rights

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Unidentified criminals destroyed around 30 idols in two temples in Jhenidah and Gopalganj on Monday. In Jhenidah, vandals broke into the temple at Angita cremation ground in Kaliganj upazila and wrecked 23 Shib idols around midnight, reported our correspondent in the district.

Badal Thakur, president of the temple committee, has demanded exemplary punishment to those involved in the hate crime.

Liakat Hossain, officer-in-charge of Kaliganj Police Station, said they would look into the matter.

Upazila Chairman Anwarul Azim Anar said a thorough investigation would be launched to bring the criminals to book.

AL lawmaker Abdul Mannan, Deputy Commissioner Khaja Hannan, Jhenidah Superintendent of Police Altaf Hossain and Upazila Vice Chairman Tithi Rani Biswas, among others, visited the spot.

In Gopalganj, six idols were destroyed at Kafilabari Durga temple in the district’s Kotalipara upazila the same night, reported a correspondent.

Sources said a devotee, Aloka Madhu, discovered the broken idols when she went to offer prayers around 10:00am.

Khokon Bala, chairman of Ramshil union parishad of Kotalipara, said the temple was vandalised by criminals.

Officer-in-Charge of Kotalipara Police Station Tuta Mia confirmed the incident.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Kotalipara Md Mikail said, “We are investigating the matter.”

Earlier, six people including a Jamaat leader were arrested on charges of torching a temple in Lakhirpar area of Kotalipara on March 3.

Meanwhile in Barisal city, two houses of Hindus on New Vatikhana Road were set ablaze by unknown criminals around 2:45am yesterday.

The flames were doused by locals before they could wreak any major damage.

A bottle of kerosene was recovered from the spot, but no complaints were lodged with the police, said Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Kawnia Police Station.

Touhidul Islam Badsha, councillor of ward-4, and Ashok Sarkar, owners of the houses, said the vandals used sacks, saw-dust and kerosene to set fire.

Source: The Daily Star – 13/03/2013 (