Unknown miscreants have laid idols to waste at 14 Hindu temples in Baliadangi Upazila in Thakurgaon in one night.
The attacks took place between Saturday night and Sunday dawn at different villages in Dhantala, Charol and Paria Unions in the Upazila, Baliadangi Police Station chief Khairul Anam said.
Bidyanath Barman, general secretary of Baliandani Upazila Puja Celebration Council, said nine temples in Dhantala, one in Charol and four in Paria were attacked.
The temples were dedicated to Haribasar, Lord Krishna, Manasa, Luxmi and Kali, among others.
“The hands, feet and heads of the idols were smashed to bits. Some were broken and left in the pond,” he said.
Blaming “miscreants” for the act, Bidyanath said: “We want the authorities to investigate this thoroughly and apprehend the real culprits.”
After news of the attacks spread, Md Mahbubur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Thakurgaon district, and Superintendent of Police Mohammad Jahangir Hossain inspected the temples in the morning.
“After taking a look, it appeared to me that the act was intentional. It was done to disrupt the peaceful situation of the country,” the police officer said, vowing to identify and make those responsible face justice.
Mahbubur said authorities would take steps to prevent such incidents in the future.
People thronged the temples to view the aftermath of the vandalism, showing anger and fear over the incident. Police were deployed at every temple in question.
Tapan Kumar Ghosh, general secretary of the district Puja celebration council, also visited the temples along with local Hindu people.
Upon arriving near the Haribasar Temple in Sindurpindi, he said: “This temple is large and a traditional one. Many people regularly visit this place. All the idols here have been smashed. This is tragic and frightening.”
Md Ali Aslam, Baliandangi Upazila Parishad chairman, said: “The temples where idols were vandalised are right beside the road without any security measure in place. I hope law enforcers will take steps to prevent this from happening again. Besides, everyone must stay vigilant.”