Last week, ISKCON News reported on a letter we had received from Chinmoydham Dasa of Chittagong in Bangladesh, detailing a May 14 attack on the ISKCON temple there.
Readers and other websites immediately jumped on the word “terrorists” used in the report, assuming that the attackers were Islamic Jihadists. However, ISKCON News never stated this, and only included the word because no others were used to reference the attackers in Chinmoydham’s letter.
We have since confirmed the truth with local ISKCON authorities: “In Bangladesh, the word terrorist is often used to refer to thugs,” says GBC Prabhavishnu Swami. “They were not Islamic Jihadists.”
Further investigation revealed that the attackers were goondas, or hired thugs, brought on as the result of a long-running local dispute.
According to ISKCON Bangladesh’s Joint-Secretary Jagatguru Gauranga Dasa, the dispute has now been resolved, and devotees hospitalized in the attack have since been discharged.
Jagatguru Gauranga has also allayed fears created by the initial report that attackers had targeted the deities at the Nandankanan Sri Sri Gour Nitai Ashram. “The thugs destroyed the kitchens and devotee accommodation, but not the Gaura Nitai deities,” he told ISKCON News on Friday May 29.