Saturday, March 23, 2013

Armed Buddhists, including monks, clash with Muslims in Myanmar

Buddhist monks and others armed with swords and machetes Friday stalked the streets of a city in central Myanmar, where sectarian violence that has left about 20 people dead has begun to spread to other areas, according to local officials.

Members of the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Meiktila township have clashed this week after a dispute between a Muslim gold shop owner and two Buddhist sellers Wednesday ignited simmering communal tensions.

Rioters have set fire to houses, schools and mosques, prompting thousands of residents to flee their homes amid unrest that had echoes of sectarian troubles that killed scores of people in western Myanmar last year.

Late Friday night, President Thein Sein announced on state television that four townships in the affected region are under a state of emergency.

The United Nations and the United States have expressed concern about the violence in the lakeside city about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Mandalay.

Win Htein, an opposition member of parliament for Meiktila, said the number of dead in the city has risen to about 20 by his estimate -- most of them Muslims -- after charred bodies were found in the streets.
"I have not seen this scale of violence before in my life," he said. "I am very sad. The community used to live in peace."

Myanmar is emerging from decades of military repression and has taken a number of significant steps toward democracy in recent years under President Thein Sein. But it has been plagued by bouts of ethnic violence that some analysts say are a byproduct of the changing political climate.

Burning mosques

A group of about 100 Buddhists, including some monks, went around Meiktila on Thursday night torching mosques, said Police Lt. Col. Aung Min, and while most of them have returned home, some are still wandering the streets, carrying weapons.

Although Aung Min declined to provide an official death toll, he said the violence had spread to a nearby town, Win Twin, where a mosque was burned down overnight.

He said about 1,000 Muslims had taken temporary shelter in a soccer stadium in Meiktila, where about 30% of the 100,000 residents are estimated to be Muslims.

Win Htein said he believed that more than 5,000 Buddhists had fled to monasteries around the city to escape the violence.

Many members of both communities had lost their homes, he said.

Journalists in the city who tried to take photos of the clashes said they were threatened by Buddhists, some of them monks, who were holding sticks and knives.

Violence in Rakhine

In the western state of Rakhine, tensions between the majority Buddhist community and the Rohingya, a stateless ethnic Muslim group, boiled over into clashes that killed scores of people and left tens of thousands of others living in makeshift camps last year.

Most of the victims were Rohingya.

"The ongoing intercommunal strife in Rakhine State is of grave concern," the International Crisis Group said in a November report. "And there is the potential for similar violence elsewhere, as nationalism and ethno-nationalism rise and old prejudices resurface."

A failure by authorities to address deepening divisions between the communities could result in a resumption of violence in the future, the report said, "which would be to the detriment of both communities, and of the country as a whole."

Vijay Nambiar, special adviser to the U.N. secretary-general on Myanmar, on Thursday expressed "deep sorrow at the tragic loss of lives and destruction" in Meiktila this week.

He called for "firm action" from Myanmar authorities, combined with "the continued fostering of communal harmony and preservation of peace and tranquility among the people."

Win Htein, the local lawmaker, said that he believed there were now about 1,000 police officers in the area.

He said he had spoken to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and leader of the opposition National League for Democracy, who had said local authorities should use police to control the situation according to the law.

The U.S. ambassador to Myanmar, Derek Mitchell, said Thursday that he was "deeply concerned" about the reports of violence.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Two dead, mosques destroyed in Myanmar unrest: Police

Two people including a Buddhist monk were killed and at least three mosques were destroyed after riots broke out in a town in central Myanmar, police said on Thursday.

Around 200 people fought in the streets after an argument in a Muslim-owned gold shop turned violent in Meiktila on Wednesday, according to a post on Myanmar Police Force's Facebook page. 

"One injured monk and Than Myint Naing, 26, who were being treated for their injuries died from their burns at hospital," it said. 

Police imposed a curfew from evening to early morning to control the situation. 

"People tried to burn down the mosques," one local police officer said. 

The unrest comes amid heightened concerns over Muslim-Buddhist relations in Myanmar, where communal conflict in the western state of Rakhine has left at least 180 people dead and more than 110,000 displaced since June 2012. 

An initial report on the police Facebook page late on Wednesday said anger spread after one man was injured during the row in the gold shop. 

The report said a mob then descended on the area and destroyed some buildings. 

It said six people were hospitalised, and that the Buddhist monk and a Muslim man later died from their injuries. A subsequent police report omitted the religion of the second man.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Broken Goddess and the War Crime Verdict of Bangladesh

by Swadesh Roy

(March 13, 2013, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) Broken Goddess picture is published every day in the progressive newspaper in Bangladesh now. From 28 February, attack on the temple is an everyday feature now in Bangladesh. Not only the sculpture of the Goddess are broken by the Jammat- Shibir , the terrorist and the war criminal party of Bangladesh but also arson, looting and killing are continuing on the Hindu community.

In Bangladesh, this terrorist and war criminal party members have attacked at least in twenty-two districts on the minority community. They are not only attacking on the minority community but also setting fire to many government office even the electricity plant. They have set fire to rail, bus, bank, business organization and the house of the government officer. They are continuously attacking on many innocent intellectual people also. They have killed more than three intellectuals. They have declared a kind of war against Bangladesh. But it has to mention here that, they never recognized Bangladesh. They fought against Bangladesh in 1971 with the collaboration of Pakistan army. Then they killed millions of people and raped thousands of girls besides they helped for killing and raping to Pakistan army. Jammat –E- Islami men also looted and arson in 1971.

After the liberation of Bangladesh, the government of Bangladesh did ban their politics through the constitution and more than 50 thousand of their workers who were accused on war criminal were arrested. At last, 11 thousand of them were on trial. The military ruler freed them all after the counter-revolution in 15 August 1975. In addition, very soon the military government gave them political right in Bangladesh. From then they are enjoying political rights. Though they are enjoying democratic political rights, they are participating in the parliament election but they never do democratic political activates.

After getting the political rights in Bangladesh, they have enjoyed the government help for their terrorist activities for a long time. In that time, they have setup huge number of business institute including financial institute like Islamic Bank of Bangladesh. On the other hand, they have established a number of terrorist groups including their student organization. In this work, they are getting huge money from the Islamic countries of Middle East in the name of Islam; besides Pakistani military intelligence (ISI) also helps them to give money and training. So now, they are well funded and well trained terrorist organization not only in Bangladesh but also in the world.

However, these Jammate-E- Islamic main leaders are now facing trial-accusing war crime in tribunal; that tribunal is called international war crime tribunal (ICT). By this time, ICT has given verdict three of them. Two of them have awarded sentence to death and one has lifetime Jail.

The war criminal who has given lifetime jail by the tribunal his name is kader Mollaha. In 1971, he was known as a butcher Kader. He did rape, killing and looting. He is the murderer of many intellectuals including a famous women poet of the then time. ICT has proved that he committed more than 355 murders. One killing is enough to get the capital punishment but the butcher Kader has given lifetime by the court. After declared this verdict, Kader shown victory symbol to the press. To see this picture the scenario of Bangladesh turned in to a face of volcano. Because, the butcher Kader strocked on the pride of the nation.

Young generation of Bangladesh cannot take it rather their out blast was historical which never happened in Bangladesh. Some young online activist gave an apple to the people to come on a road in Dhaka named shabag, which is nearby Dhaka University. But by the evening a huge crowd made there. From then it is continuing. For the first time this type of uprising is happened in Bangladesh. It is very non-partisan. They only uphold the spirit of freedom struggle of Bangladesh and they want to respect to the 3 million martyrs and a half million women who were raped by the Pakistani army and the Jammat people in 1971.

Within three days, this uprising became a human sea. From this human sea, they demanded that they want capital punishment for the butcher Kader and all the war criminal that are now facing trial. Besides, they want that, government have to ban Jammat-E-Islamic Bangladesh, as a war criminal party they cannot enjoy political right in Bangladesh. People of Bangladesh have supported their demand because all over the world the war criminal party cannot enjoy the political right. In the mean time a group of Shibir( student wing of Jammat) men killed one of the online activists who was an architect. To share condolence to the family members Prime Minister of Bangladesh went his home, at that time she told to the journalist that Jammat has no right to do politics in Bangladesh.

The online activist Rajib Hyder Shovo was a blogger. Most of the time he would write to uphold the principle or sprit and the history of freedom struggle of Bangladesh that has been destroyed by the military ruler of Bangladesh. But, one of the editors of a newspaper in Bangladesh named Amardesh who was awarded as a chance editor by the Supreme Court, Mr. Mahamudur Rahaman published a baseless story that, Rajib wrote story against the great Prophet of Islam. His newspaper never maintains any ethics. With his newspaper, he is trying to establish that, this uprising is against religion. This` religion game’ is an old weapon in Bangladesh. When the people of Bangladesh start any progressive movement like the historical language movement, Freedom struggle in Bangladesh then the reactionary group uses that weapon. However, the people of Bangladesh never accept it. In spite of that, they succeed to do many unethical works in the name of religion; like looting, killing and raping. This time they also are doing this.

However, on 28 February the ICT gave the verdict of an war criminal. His name was Delwar hossien Syedee. In 1971, he was known as Della Razakar. ICT gave him sentence to death. Court has found that, in 1971, he committed murder, raping ,arson and looting. After giving his verdict, the people of Bangladesh and the youth up risers started to celebrate. Nevertheless, the Jammat and Shibir people started to arson government office in different place. With the modern and homemade weapons, they killed police officer, arson government office, business house and they attacked on minority Hindu, Buddhist people, and their temples in twenty-two district of Bangladesh. They have killed more than six Hindu people including temple Guru and two years baby.

The law enforcing men of Bangladesh took measures. For taking measure, a number of causalities were happened. Because, they have started war against the state. However, the people of Bangladesh basically the youth are trying to stop it through the non violent movement; and the terrorist going to isolated from the society but after three days of this terrorism, the main opposition supported the terrorist activates of the Jammat- Shibir. After that, they are calling shutdown one after another, killing the innocent people, and attacking on the minorities. The renowned human right activist of Bangladesh, Shariar Kabir has visited many places, where they attacked the minorities. He said in a press conference that, main opposition party, Bangladesh nationalist party (BNP) men are involved on the attack of minorities.

It is a big setback for Bangladesh politics that BNP has supported the terrorist group of Bangladesh. Therefore, government of Bangladesh has to face now more terrorism and now the more than one-core minorities of Bangladesh are in danger. Despite, it is true ultimately, the progressive force of Bangladesh will win, but it is very much needed that, world progressive forces have to support them. World human right workers and all kind of progressive force have to be concerned regarding the security of the minorities of Bangladesh.

Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor, The Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Karma catches up with Jamaat

The Shabagh sit-in has robustly survived for a month and its strength and resolve seem to be growing. Veteran Mukti Joddhas, enthused by the response of youth, see in this a second struggle for liberation from shackles of fundamentalist Rezakars and their Pakistani mentors who have always worked to throttle the full emergence and consolidation of a Bengali identity. The protestors have resolved to continue with the signature campaign for another month till the April 7.

Among the major demands of the campaign is the completion of the war crimes trial, the hanging of the Jamaat leaders who collaborated with the Pakistani Army in its pogrom against the people of East Pakistan during 1971 and the banning of the party altogether. It is the first time since 1971 that the Bangladeshis have witnessed such a massive and sustained outpouring in support of the ideals of the Liberation War. The Jamaat’s countrywide mayhem, its targetted attacks and killings of law enforcers, its destructions of Hindus’ home and hearth, their temples and business establishments have not been able to cow down the protestors at Shabag.

But Bangladesh is in the grips of a death fight between progressive forces of democracy and stability and those who wish to push it to the brink and Wahabise it. They are working overtime at the behest of their external mentors. ‘Basher Kella’, the Facebook page run by Jamaat-Shibir activists, for example, called for a ‘Bangladesh-Pakistan-Islamic Republic of Banglastan’ where only Muslims will live after exterminating Hindus and other minorities. The Jamaat has never fully severed its umbilical ties with the Pakistani military establishment and the Pakistanis have never abandoned them. How can they dump those who have been their comrades in arms in perpetrating one of largest genocides in human history. The US establishment too has never raised the Jamaat issue publicly nor called for their trials. It is easier for it to deal with banana dictators and warlords than with those who are under the protection of their so-called principal collaborator in the ‘war on terror’ in South Asia. The main opposition BNP is fully in tune with the Jamaat’s objectives and is also orchestrating the countrywide shutdowns and unrests. Khaleda’s cancellation of her meeting with the Indian President through an email communication and then calling a separate spate of hartals is actually the carrying out of the Jamaat and the Islamic Oikya Jote agenda. Each one is riding on the other in order to strengthen its fundamentalist credentials.

The Indian Prime Minister, gullible as he is in handling foreign affairs, had feted Khaleda on her visit last November. He met her for an hour and even hosted a lunch, perhaps the first ever in honour of a leader of Opposition. The na├»ve Salman Khurshid was ecstatic when Khaleda assured him then” ‘this marks a new beginning. Let’s look forward and not look back in the rear-view mirror.’ Little did they know that the lady was a past master at changing colours and was an inveterate foe when it came to India and Hindus. During Khaleda’s visit, the Indian establishment had even prematurely indicated that it was ready to do business with Khaleda, implying that it was already considering a BNP dispensation in the next elections. The blinkered Indian PM and his even more isolated five star advisors must have failed to see that it is in the character of the BNP to go the extra mile to accommodate the Jamaat, and the extra mile has always seen an increase in anti-India rhetoric, providing sanctuaries to insurgents and militants from the North-East and the ethnic cleansing of the Bangladeshi Hindus. Let us not forget that Khaleda’s coming to power in 2001 saw one of the largest anti-Hindu pogroms in Bangladesh in recent times and the Awami League-appointed Shahabuddin Commission report which investigated the attacks has indicated at organised violence with BNP-Jamaat imprints. What compels UPA to look the other way when it knows that AL and Hasina remain the best bet for India, for the region, and for the Bangladeshi Hindus, is hard to comprehend. Mortgaging India’s foreign interests has become a habit with it.

The recent spate of anti-Hindu violence, especially in the last one week since the ardent and fawning Pakistani collaborator and Jamaat vice president Delawar Hossein Sayeedi was sentenced by the International Crimes Tribunal to be ‘hanged by the neck till he is dead’, has been particularly unsettling. Within a day of the announcement the old pattern fell into place and the Jamaat’s ire was directed at the Hindus. It has demonstrated that the Jamaat’s core agenda – obliterating Hindus from Bangladesh – remains undiluted and its organisational capacity to wreak havoc remains intact. Incidents of violence against Hindus were reported from all over the country including Noakhali, Bogra, Chapainawabganj, Chittagong, Barisal, Dinajpur, by March 4 more than 100 temples were vandalised and 1000 homes, at conservative estimates, attacked and burnt. The Hindus’ business establishments were ransacked and their women terrorised. Leading Bangladeshi dailies calling for a halt had termed the pogroms a fallback to 1971. But we did not even hear muted protests from the international community. The US State Department merely said that it has taken note of ‘reports of attacks on a Hindu temple’ and our own homegrown secularists have not let out as much as a grunt in protest. I had hoped to hear at least a whimper from the faithful Mani Shankar Aiyar, that perpetual honorary Pakistani Consul-at-Large in India!

The Jamaat leaders facing the war crimes trial is the worst of the lot – in fact with the Pakistani army in 1971 it was they who formed the real ‘axis of evil’ aiding and abetting the murder and rape of thousands of their fellow citizens. Sayeedi, then a lowly Urdu- knowing ‘grocery shopkeeper’ in his thirties had earned distinction from the Pakistani establishment for his atrocities on Hindus. As the local commander of the Al Badr and Al Shams in his area Sayeedi had particularly targeted Hindus, arranging for their women to be raped by Pakistani Army personnel, himself confining and molesting them, forcibly converting them to Islam and of killing some of them in cold blood. Politically, in later years, his anti-India stance and his anti-Hindu rhetoric had earned him a special place in the Jamaat pantheon. Till a few years back, CDs of his anti-India discourses were publicly distributed along the Assam-Bangladesh border with the aim of inciting communal passion. Hasina has indeed shown mettle in hauling the entire top Jamaat leadership in prison and by putting them on trial.

The majority of Bangladeshis have supported the war crimes trial and there is a growing demand for banning the Jamaat, it is in the interest of Bangladesh and the growth of the region that both the trial and the ban attain their logical conclusion, only then will Bangladesh truly liberate itself.

As for the Hindus in Bangladesh, they ought to recall what Sayeedi once said in one of his vitriolic public discourses at the Chittagong Parade Ground, “Why should we feel sad when the Hindu brothers choose to leave our country? Do we mourn when we have indigestion and materials leave our bodies?” The Hindus thus should not mourn Sayeedi’s conviction and his impending departure. Let them rejoice the final purgation from their body-politic of this highly inedible fundamentalist chunk.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Twenty Charges against Delwar Hossain Sayedee

1. On May 4, 1971, Delawar Hossain Sayedee as a member of Peace (Shanti) Committee carried secret information to the Pakistan army about a gathering of a group of people behind the Madhya Masimpur bus-stand under Pirojpur Sadar and took the army to the spot. The army killed 20 unnamed people by firing.

2. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee along with his accomplices accompanied by the Pakistan army looted belongings of members of the Hindu community living in Masimpur Hindu Para under Pirojpur Sadar. They also set the houses of Hindus alight and opened fire on the scared people, who started fleeing the scene, killing 13 people.

3. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee led a team of the Pakistan army to Masimpur Hindu Para, where the team looted goods from the houses of two members of the Hindu community -- Monindra Nath Mistri and Suresh Chandra Mondol -- and destroyed their houses by setting them on fire. Sayedee also directly took part in the large-scale destruction by setting fire to the roadside houses of villages Kalibari, Masimpur, Palpara, Sikarpur, Razarhat, Kukarpara, Dumur Tola, Kalamtola, Nawabpur, Alamkuthi, Dhukigathi, Parerha and Chinrakhali.

4. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee and his accomplices, accompanied by the Pakistani army looted the houses of members of the Hindu community and opened fire indiscriminately on them in front of Dhopa Bari and behind the LGED Building in Pirojpur, leaving four persons killed.

5. Sayedee declared publicly to arrest Saif Mizanur Rahman, then deputy magistrate of Pirojpur Sub-division, when the magistrate organised a Sarbo Dalio Sangram Parishad to inspire people to join the Liberation War. On May 5, 1971, Sayedee along with his associate Monnaf (now deceased), a member of Peace (Shanti) Committee, accompanied by the Pakistan army picked up Saif from the hospital where he was hiding and took him to the bank of the Baleshwar river. On the same date and time, Foyezur Rahman Ahmed, sub-divisional police officer, and Abdur Razzak (SDO in charge of Pirojpur), were also arrested from their workplaces and taken to the river bank. Sayedee as a member of the killer squad was present there and all three government officials were gunned down. Their bodies were thrown into the river Baleshwar. Sayedee directly participated and abetted in the acts of abduction and killing of those three officers.

6. On May 7, 1971, Sayedee identified the houses and shops of Bangalees belonging to the Awami League, Hindu community and supporters of the Liberation War at Parerhat Bazar under Pirojpur Sadar. Sayedee as one of the perpetrators raided those shops and houses and looted valuables, including 22 seers of gold and silver from the shop of one Makhanlal Saha.

7. On May 8, 1971, Sayedee led a team of the Pakistan army to the house of Nurul Islam Khan, where he identified Nurul Islam as an Awami League leader and his son Shahidul Islam Selim as a freedom-fighter to the army. Sayedee then detained Nurul Islam and handed him to the army, which tortured Nurul Islam. His house was then looted and finally set on fire.

8. On May 8, 1971, Sayedee and his accomplices accompanied by the Pakistan army raided the house of one Manik Posari at Chitholia under Pirojpur Sadar and caught his brother Mofizuddin and one Ibrahim. Sayedee's accomplices then burnt five houses there. On the way to the Pakistani army's camp, Sayedee instigated the members of the occupation force to kill Ibrahim by gunshot and dump his body near a bridge. On the other hand, Mofiz was taken to the army camp and tortured. Sayedee directly participated in the abduction, murder and persecution of the victims.

9. On June 2, 1971, armed associates of Sayedee under his leadership and accompanied by the Pakistani army raided the house of one Abdul Halim Babul at Nolbunia under Indurkani Police Station and looted valuables from Halim's house. The team then reduced the house to ashes.

10. On June 2, 1971, Sayedee's armed associates under his leadership and accompanied by the Pakistan army burnt 25 houses of a Hindu Para in Umedpur village under Indurkani Police Station. At one stage, a victim, Bisabali, was tied to a coconut tree andwas shot dead by Sayedee's accomplice.

11. On June 2, 1971, Sayedee led a team of Peace (Shanti) Committee members, accompanied by the Pakistani army, to raid the house of Mahbubul Alam Howlader (freedom-fighter) of Tengra Khali village under Indurkani Police Station. Sayedee and the team then detained Mahbubul's elder brother Abdul Mazid Howlader and tortured him, and looted cash money, jewellery and other valuables from the house.

12. One day a group comprising 15-20 armed accomplices of Sayedee under his leadership entered the Hindu Para of Parerhat Bazar under Pirojpur Sadar and captured 14 Hindus, who were all supporters of Bangladesh's independence. The fourteen were then tied with a single rope and dragged to Pirojpur and handed over to Pakistani soldiers, who killed them. Their bodies were thrown into the river.

13. One night, about 2 to 3 months after the war commenced, some members of Peace Committee under Sayedee's leadership accompanied by the Pakistan army raided the house of Azhar Ali of Nalbunia village under Pirojpur Sadar Police Station. They then caught and tortured Azahar Ali and his son Shaheb Ali. The team then abducted Shaheb Ali and ultimately he was taken to Pirojpur and killed.

14. During the final stages of the war, Sayedee one morning led a team of Razakar Bahini consisting of 50 to 60 Razakars, into attacking the Hindu Para of Hoglabunia under Pirojpur Sadar. Seeing the attackers, the Hindus managed to flee but one Shefali Gharami failed to do that. Some members of Razakar Bahini entered her room and raped her. Being the leader of the team, Sayedee did not prevent them from committing rape upon her. Sayedee and the members of his team also set fire to the dwelling houses of the Hindu Para.

15. During the last part of the war, Sayedee led 15 to 20 armed Razakars who entered the Hoglabunia village under Pirojpur Sadar Police Station and caught 10 members of the Hindu faith. The attackers then tied all the members of Hindu community with a single rope, dragged them to Pirojpur and handed them over to the Pakistani army. They were all killed and their bodies were dumped into the river.

16. In the course of the Liberation War, Sayedee led a group of 10-12 armed Razakars and Peace Committee members, which surrounded the house of Gouranga Saha of Parerhat Bandar under Pirojpur Sadar. Subsequently, Sayedee and the others abducted three women and handed them over to the Pakistan army at Pirojpur where they were confined and raped for three days before being released.

17. During the Liberation War, Sayedee along with other armed Razakars kept Bipod Saha's daughter Vanu Saha confined to Bipod Saha's house at Parerhat under Pirojpur Sadar Police Station and regularly used to go there to rape her.

18. During the Liberation War, one Bhagirothi used to work in the camp of the Pakistan army. One day, after a fight with the freedom fighters, and at the instance of Sayedee, Bhagirothi was charged with passing information to the freedom fighters and killed.

19. During the war, Sayedee, being a member of Razakar Bahini and exercising his influence over the Hindu community of Pirojpur, converted 100-150 Hindus of Parerhat and other villages and compelled them to go to the mosque to offer prayers.

20. On a day at the end of November 1971, Sayedee got information that thousands of people were fleeing to India in order to save their lives. A group of 10-12 armed members of the Razakar Bahini, under Sayedee's leadership, then attacked the houses of Talukdar Bari at Indurkani village and detained a total of 85 persons and looted goods from there. Of them, all but 10-12 persons were released in exchange for bribes negotiated by Fazlul Huq, a member of the Razakar Bahini. Male persons were tortured and female persons were raped by Pakistan soldiers deployed in the camp.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Puttur: Girl taken to Kerala for conversion – advocate, five others arrested

Puttur notary, advocate and Dakshina Kannada district Congress minority unit chief secretary Nooruddin Salmar has been remanded in judicial custody for allegedly assisting in the conversion of a Hindu girl from Ankatadka, Paltady and helping his friends take her to Kerala.

Nooruddin was caught when he was trying to help Mohammed Althaf, the second accused in the case, to reportedly escape in his car. The Kasargod police arrested them near Perla. The prime accused in the case is Aziz, a poultry trader from Ankatadka.

The girl, a resident of Paltady, had left from her home on February 19 and escaped to Bellary. Aziz is said to have given the girl Rs 10,000 and asked her to convert to Islam. She was then taken to Kasargod by accused Rahiman, Mansoor and auto driver Manoj, and from there to Ponnani by train.

The girl then called Puttur rural police and informed them that she was in Ponnani. The girl's father filed a complaint in Puttur rural police station on February 21. It is said that Aziz and the girl had an affair, and after the family's intervention, it was decided that Aziz and the girl would not meet or talk to each other anymore.

Meanwhile, based on the information obtained on tracking the phone number the girl had called from, the Puttur rural police led by SI Jagadish Reddy under the direction of DySP Sadananda Warnekar left for Ponnani and brought the girl back. On the basis of her statement, the police filed complaints against Aziz, Rahiman, Mohammed Althaf, Mansoor and Manoj.

Though Nooruddin was only accused of helping the accused escape, investigations later revealed that he was the mastermind behind the plan to convert the girl, said DySP Sadananda.

Accused Aziz, Althaf and Nooruddin were taken for medical examination and produced in Puttur court. Puttur lawyers' association filed a bail plea for Nooruddin's release. B Narasimha Prasad and Mahesh Kaje argued on his behalf and said that Nooruddin should be granted interim bail as he was an advocate of the Puttur court.

Assistant public prosecutor C Thammana expressed a strong objection to the bail plea. He said interim bail can be granted to old people, patients and women but in this case interim bail cannot be granted to the accused.

Justice Venkatesh Nayak who upheld the decision of the public prosecutor, denied the bail and remanded the accused in judicial custody for 14 days. Along with Nooruddin, the court also awarded judicial custody to Azeez and Mohammed Althaf.

A few people objected to the photographers who were clicking pictures of the accused. Meanwhile police officials intervened and dispersed the crowd. Strong security was deployed in the court premises under the guidance of M Sudarshan, Puttur town police inspector and K Suresh Kumar, rural police circle inspector.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Hindus under attack in Bangladesh

Conspicuous by its absence on Indian news television, the current crisis in Bangladesh is nothing less than history catching up with the young nation after war and ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Pakistani army in 1971 gave it wounds that have remained unhealed for more than four decades.

After Islamists amended the young nation’s Constitution in 1977 and 1988 to make “absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah as the basis of all actions” its fundamental guiding principle, it was not until 2010 that a Tribunal was set up to provide justice to those who had been slaughtered by Rezakars in the aftermath of Bangladesh’s war of independence.

Awarding of life imprisonment to Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah and death sentences to war criminals Abul Kalam Azad and Delawar Hossain Sayedee followed have triggered a fresh wave of attacks on Hindus in the country.

Daily Star reports that on Saturday alone, members of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir have attacked and destroyed six temples and set fire to several Hindu houses and business in Noakhali, Gaibandha, Chittagong, Rangpur, Sylhet, Chapainawabganj and Rajganj. These attacks of course, are in addition to the violence unleashed by Islamists in the last three days in which more than a dozen people have lost their lives.

The situation, perhaps not surprisingly, is reminiscent of the state of affairs that prevailed during the early days of the Bangladeshi Government’s tryst with Islamists when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared a general amnesty for Islamists against whom trials had not yet been initiated. Rahman was assassinated in 1975, paving the way for a series of military coups and a general chaos that still lasts.

The current Sheikh Hasina Government too, in its turn, seems unwilling to anger rioting Jamaatis and is in no mood to do anything about the riots that seem to be killing the country’s Hindus. Political motivations that kept Mujibur Rahman from coming down hard upon Islamists in the beginning of the nation’s history hold the Government hostage still.

The persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus in the wake of a setback to the Islamist cause is happening exactly as it did back in 1971. Back then, the reason was the Bangladeshi freedom movement. This time, the reason is justice catching up with the war criminals.

>> In Chittagong, Jamaati Islamists attacked Hindu majority localities at Jaldi union of Banshkhali upazila and set fire to a Buddhist temple.

>> Jamaat members also burned houses at Dhopapara and Mohajonpara and attacked people with sticks, iron rods and sharp weapons.

>> The rioters also burned three shops belonging to Hindus at Kaliash union of Satkania upazila.

>> Members of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked a temple and business establishments belonging to Hindus at Bhelkobazar in Sundarganj upazila of Gaibandha district.

>> Rioters also vandalised some houses in Shovaganj union.

>> Vandalism, arson and looting took place in temples, houses and business establishments of Hindus in Sylhet, Rangpur, Thakurgaon, Laxmipur and Chapainawabganj.

>> Attackers had vandalised the central Kali temple at Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur and another at Kansat in Chapainawabganj.

(Source: Daily star)

The situation wasn’t very different in 1971. Delivering the death sentence to Sayedee, the judges said they had established that he “…took active part in the attacks directed against civilian population at Parerhat area, causing murder, deportation, rape, looting of goods, setting fire to the houses and shops of civilians, forceful religious conversion, inhuman acts and torture which fall within the purview of crimes against humanity.”

Some of the charges against Sayedee, with regard to his crimes of 1971, are as follows.

>> On May 4, 1971, Sayedee and his accomplices, accompanied by the Pakistani army looted the houses of members of the Hindu community and opened fire indiscriminately on them in front of Dhopa Bari and behind the LGED Building in Pirojpur, leaving four persons killed.

>> On May 7, 1971, Sayedee identified the houses and shops of Bangalees belonging to the Awami League, Hindu community and supporters of the Liberati on War at Parerhat Bazar under Pirojpur Sadar. Sayedee as one of the perpetrators raided those shops and houses and looted valuables, including 22 seers of gold and silver from the shop of one Makhanlal Saha.

>> On May 8, 1971, Sayedee and his accomplices accompanied by the Pakistan army raided the house of one Manik Posari at Chitholia under Pirojpur Sadar and caught his brother Mofizuddin and one Ibrahim. Sayedee’s accomplices then burnt five houses there. On the way to the Pakistani army’s camp, Sayedee instigated the members of the occupation force to kill Ibrahim by gunshot and dump his body near a bridge. On the other hand, Mofiz was taken to the army camp and tortured. Sayedee directly participated in the abduction, murder and persecution of the victims.

>> On June 2, 1971, Sayedee’s armed associates under his leadership and accompanied by the Pakistan army burnt 25 houses of a Hindu Para in Umedpur village under Indurkani Police Station. At one stage, a victim, Bisabali, was tied to a coconut tree and was shot dead by Sayedee’s accomplice.

>> One day a group comprising 15-20 armed accomplices of Sayedee under his leadership entered the Hindu Para of Parerhat Bazar under Pirojpur Sadar and captured 14 Hindus, who were all supporters of Bangladesh’s independence. The fourteen were then tied with a single rope and dragged to Pirojpur and handed over to Pakistani soldiers, who killed them. Their bodies were thrown into the river.