Bangabandhu statue vandalised in Kushtia amid anti-sculpture movement by Islamist groups

Vandals have defaced a sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman under the cover of night in Kushtia amid growing opposition from Islamic groups, including Hifazat-e Islam, to the statues of the Father of the Nation.

Published : 5 Dec 2020, 09:54 AM
Updated : 5 Dec 2020, 12:01 PM

The right hand, face and parts of the left hand of the statue, which is under construction at a five-road intersection in Kushtia Municipality, were damaged by the miscreants late Friday.

Different groups and organisations expressed grievances over the matter after it came to their notice on Saturday morning.

Authorities are yet to identify the culprits behind the vandalism.

The Kushtia Municipality took the initiative to build three statues of Bangabandhu at the site. Work on the statue targeted by the vandals was almost complete before the incident.

“We were almost done with the construction of one of Bangabandhu’s statues. Suddenly, the vandals broke its right hand, damaged the entirety of the face and parts of the its left hand at night,” Robiul Islam, executive engineer of Kushtia Municipality, told

Kushtia Police Superintendent said, “We’ve identified those involved after reviewing the CCTV camera footage of the incident. The culprits will soon be brought to justice.”

Aslam Hossain, Deputy Commissioner of Kushtia, said, “Vandalising the statue of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in victory month is being taken seriously. Whoever is involved in the act will face legal action.”

The Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal or JaSoD subsequently held human-chain protest over the vandalism at the town's NS Road.

While speaking at the Golam Mohsin, Kushtia district JaSoD President, said that, “We received complaints that Friday prayer sermons in different mosques had incited devotees who went for prayers to remove the statues.”


Meanwhile, State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan has assured that the government is working to reach a settlement with Islamist groups led by Hifazat-e Islam 'within a week' as they continue to take a hardline stance over the construction of a statue of Bangabandhu in Dhaka’s Dholairpar to mark his birth centenary.

“The Ministry of Religious Affairs is taking steps to do whatever is needed to establish a non-communal Bangladesh,” Haque said at a programme in Jamalpur on Saturday.

Addressing the protests by Islamist groups, the state minister said, “Many issues have already been settled. The ministry believes that the matter will be completely resolved within the next week.”

Besides Mamunul Haque, joint secretary general of the Islamist group, Hifazat's new chief Junaid Babunagari, and Islami Andolan Bangladesh’s Nayeb-e-Ameer Sayed Faizul Karim are among the Islamist leaders who have spoken out against the statue in separate programmes recently.

Some Awami League leaders have reacted sharply to the position of the Islamists on the statue issue, but new State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan hopes to talk them out of the hardline stance.

Many political and cultural groups have protested against the Islamists’ threat to tear down statues, and demanded arrest of Mamunul and others for their remarks on Bangabandhu’s statue.

On his part, Mamunul has alleged that the activists are trying to portray the issue as a confrontation between the “Islamic scholars” and Bangabandhu.