Guwahati, Wednesday, October 03, 2012
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Rights group asks Bangladesh to stop attacks on minorities

 Agartala, Oct 3 (IANS): A rights group here urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to put pressure on Bangladesh to take steps to stop attacks by Muslim radicals on Hindu and Buddhist minorities and their places of worship.

New Delhi-based Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) director Suhas Chakma in separate letters to the Prime Minister and the United Nations chief asked them to take up the matter with the Bangladesh government to immediately stop attacks on religious minorities, take action against the perpetrators, and re-build all temples burnt.

The ACHR here also demanded adequate compensations to people whose properties have been destroyed and ensure proper rehabilitation of the displaced minorities.

The rights group in a statement Tuesday said: "Muslim religious fanatics attacked the Buddhist and Hindu minorities at Ramu, Ukhia, Patia and Teknaf under Chittagong division of (southeast) Bangladesh. Since Sep 29 at least 24 temples have been burnt down, dozens of Buddhist villages attacked, displacing thousands of minorities."

"Despite the widespread attacks on the minorities, the security forces of Bangladesh remained mute witness. The security forces have failed to arrest any of the culprits," Chakma said in his statement.

Bangladesh media reported that hundreds of Muslims, already angry over an anti-Islam US film, went on the rampage Sunday in Buddhist tribal dominated villages in Bangladesh over an alleged desecration of the Holy Quran on social networking site Facebook.

"A Facebook account holder in Merunloa village in Chittagong uploaded a photo of the Quran's trampling. Just as the news spread, hundreds of Muslims took to the streets and vehemently protested," a media report said.

"Thousands of angry people vandalised and set ablaze many Buddhist houses and temples in Cox's Bazar district," the media report said quoting police officials.

Protestors launched attacks on the houses and the temples before the security personnel reached the scene to bring the situation under control, an official added.

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