On 13th October 2021, radical extremists began strategic, coordinated attacks on Hindu minorities in Bangladesh. The attacks continued until October 15th with innumerable homes, shops, puja pandals, and temples being looted, burned, and destroyed. Around 10 fatalities have been reported while many more people have sustained injuries or been hospitalized.
ISKCON Sri Sri Radha Krishna, Gaura Nityananda Temple in Choumoni was subject to these attacks, and two devotees, Pranta Chandra das and Jatan Chandra Saha, were murdered. Another devotee, Nimai Chandra das, remains hospitalized in a critical condition. All residential devotees were physically attacked and have sustained injuries.
The attack on the ISKCON temple took place in broad daylight. The Ratha of Lord Jagannath, deities of Srila Prabhupada, spiritual books, vehicles, and other temple property/ paraphernalia were burned, destroyed, and looted. Four other Hindu temples along with many other houses, shops, and institutions of Hindu minorities were also destroyed.
This is not the first time in Bangladesh when Hindu minorities were brutally attacked or murdered. The Bangladeshi government did not take visible steps to stop further destruction. The ISKCON Choumoni temple devotees had also pleaded with local police to provide protection, but these requests were ignored.
Seeing this gross neglect of duty from the authorities, approximately 500 radical extremists continued their attacks the following day.
The culprits behind these attacks have openly declared their actions on social media, repeatedly carrying out such atrocities again and again. Therefore, the Bangladeshi government should take immediate steps to set severe punishment and completely discourage extremists from performing such atrocities.
We call upon you to join ISKCON UK’s united effort, along with the wider community, as we make our voice heard loud and clear. We’ll collectively march on the Bangladesh Embassy in protest against the continued persecution of Hindus and minorities in Bangladesh, petitioning the Government and High Commissioner to take action. The larger the turnout, the greater the impact; we need you!
Offer special prayers to the worshipable lords in your home or the temple to please protect devotees in Bangladesh.
You can show your support for ISKCON Bangladesh in this time of need by donating financially. All funds will be forwarded to ISKCON Bangladesh. To donate click here.
Please know these attacks are not representative of a general conflict between faithful Muslims and Hindus. ISKCON Bangladesh leaders tell us that many Muslim leaders in Bangladesh have spoken out strongly in support of the Hindu minority. The culprits behind these attacks are extremists who misinterpret Islam to persecute and torture minority faiths in Bangladesh.
Because of the sensitivity of this situation, we strongly recommend that ISKCON devotees carefully avoid spreading inaccurate news. Any public statements or social media posts should be carefully considered and responded to with respect.
Aug 06, 2022
Brahmatirtha das Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies