Police detain 9 over attacks on puja venues, Hindu homes in Cox’s Bazar

Police have arrested nine suspects over the attacks on puja venues and Hindu homes in Pekua, a sub-district in Cox’s Bazar.

Cox’s Bazar Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 14 Oct 2021, 10:07 AM
Updated : 14 Oct 2021, 10:07 AM

Following a similar incident in Cumilla, the Kachharaimura Sheelpara puja venue was attacked on Wednesday, while Hindu households were vandalised in Mognama, said Pekua Police Station chief Sheikh Mohammad Ali.

“A group of assailants led a march and tried to attack the central puja venue in Pekua. Police rushed to the scene and the attackers confronted them. The attackers even opened fire on police,” he said.

Police returned fire in a bid to bring the situation under control and dispersed the attackers. At least seven police personnel were injured in the violence.

"They vandalised the main entrance of the venue, but couldn’t damage much of the main place of worship,” the police official said.

The assailants also marched in some other parts of Cox’s Bazar, he said.

Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Md Mamunur Rashid and Superintendent of Police Mohammad Hasanuzzaman visited the scene.

Authorities have deployed additional law enforcers, including police and RAB, to tackle the situation. Following raids in several places, nine suspects were detained, said Mohammed Ali.

The officer, however, did not disclose the identities of the detainees. 

On Wednesday, communal tensions broke out in Cumilla over an alleged case of dishonouring the Quran amid Durga Puja, the largest Hindu festival. Crowds clashed with police and vandalised idols in the area.

Puja venues were also vandalised in Chandpur, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj and Moulvibazar and clashes resulted in casualties.

Law enforcers have bolstered their patrols following the attacks, but the local Hindus are still terrified, said Pradeep Kumar Susheel, president of the Pekua Upazila Hindu Buddhist O Christan Oikya Parishad. 

“Local BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and Hifazat-e Islam activists planned the attacks to create instability in the country. The opposition parties are trying to incite a communal riot,” said Mohammad Jahangir Alam, chairman of Pekua Upazila.

Police say they are preparing to file a case against the attackers.

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