More than 50 hurt as football match in Bangladesh turns violent

Wednesday 04th August 2021 06:43 EDT

Dhaka: A mob of radical Islamists in Bangladesh attacked the Hindu community without provocation June 21 (Eid day). The incident took place at Kalabari Union Parakata Bazar in Kotalipara in the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council said that more than 50 people, including police personnel, were injured. The Islamist mob ransacked shops and houses belonging to Hindus and had vowed to ‘sacrifice’ religious minorities on the occasion of Eid. The attack took place in the backdrop of a football match that was conducted in the Parakata village on July 19. During the match at the Janakalyan High school ground, a quarrel broke out between two sides about the outcome of the game.

Two days later on July 21, a heated argument ensued between 18-year-old Sajal Gain and 38-year-old Jamal Mallick. The argument soon assumed a communal turn, leading to a clash between two sides. Reportedly, the accused have been identified as Rustum Mallick, Nannu Mallick, Jasim Mollah, Faizul Mallick, and Babul Mallick (26). They vandalised shops, houses and targeted Hindu men, women, and livestock. They chanted slogans vowing to make the village free of Hindus and demanded human sacrifice on the ocassion of Eid.

A police team rushed to the spot to control the situation. More than 50 people, including men, women, children and police personnel who tried to pacify the mob were injured. Most of the injuries were stab wounds. The injured were rushed to hospitals.

Police, administration took the side of attackers: Victims

In a video shared by Bangladeshi Hindu activist Raju Das, an injured Hindu man could be heard as saying, “This is our school and they don’t let us play. Today, a Hindu was thrashed. They (Muslims) came here with sticks and rods. They are ready to kill Hindus. They have declared that they would do Qurbani (sacrifice) with Hindus. We all got thrashed and the administration also took their side…. The attack was pre-meditated.” In another video, a Twitter user alleged that the police personnel were also involved in the stone pelting against Hindus. He claimed that the police took the side of the attackers and thrashed the victims (Hindu community).

Following the incident, the Hindu Coalition group in the US staged a protest. They said that it was a matter of shame that the Hindus were targeted in the Prime Minister’s constituency on the occasion of Eid. An arbitration meeting was held between the Hindu and Muslim communities later. Public representatives and the district administration have appealed to people to maintain calm in the area. According to OC (Kotalipara police) Aminul Islam, a contingent of police have been deployed in the area.

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