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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Attack on Buddhist community in Ramu- report from CHT News Services

Arson attack on Buddhist community by extremist Muslims in Cox’s Bazaar and Chittagong leaving two dozens of temples and 50 houses burnt to ashes and at least 200 houses vandalised & looted

On 29-30 September 2012 Islamic extremists conducted a massive communal attack on Buddhist community in Ramu, Ukhiya, Teknaf and Cox’s Bazaar municipality area under Cox’s Bazaar district and Patia in Chittagong district, following a Facebook posting defaming the Quran allegedly by a Facebook user, Uttam Barua. In this attack, at least 25 temples including 2 Hindu temples and around 50 houses belonging to Barua community were completely burnt to ashes and more 200-250 houses were ransacked and looted. Hundreds of people became homeless and hundreds of families left their houses for safer places.

Bangladeshi Muslims participate in a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. (Photo: AP)

Buddhist temple in flame. (Photo: bdnews24)

It is learnt that on 29 September around 9.00 pm a militant procession was brought out Chowmuhini area of Ramu upazila sadar. Conducted by leader of Chatra League (student wing of Awami League) Md. Saddam, the procession was addressed, among others, by president of Ramu press club Nurul Islam Selim, leader of Sechhasehabak League (volunteers wing of Awami League) Apel Bhutta et al. Besides, Abul Kasem of Chatra Dal (student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party), Md. Didar of BNP, Md. Jahangir of Jamat-e-Islam et al were present in this meeting. Around 8 thousand militant Muslims attended the procession. At a subsequent rally, they claimed a youth by the name of Uttam Barua (24) had pasted the purportedly offensive photo in the social networking website and demanded his arrest. 

A statue of Buddha is left standing amidst the torched ruins of the Lal Ching Buddhist temple at Ramu, Bangladesh on September 30, 2012. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

It is also learnt that at around 11.30 pm another militant procession was taken out that marched down towards the Barua Para in Ramu upazila and some youths from the procession set some homes of the Barua Buddhists on fire. At that time, BNP lawmaker of Cox’s Bazar-3 constituency Lutfar Rahman Kajal and vice chairman of Ramu upazila Sohel Sarwar Kajal were also present there and they did not prevent the mob from attacking the Buddhist community. 

Statues are pictured at the burnt Buddhist temple of Shima Bihar on September 30, 2012. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Destroyed Buddha statues. (Photo: local source)

From then on, at least 30 houses, three temples including 'Saada Ching' and 'Laal Ching' were burned to the ground. A 100-foot high under-construction Buddha sculpture was also ravaged in Bimukti Bidarshan Bhabana Centre in Ramu. The monk of this temple was also wounded. Also, Ramu Maitree Bihara, Saada Chinglaal, Ramy Sina Bihara and Jadiparha Bouddha Bihara were torched, ransacked and looted. At least 10 Buddhist villages were attacked and Purbo Merongloa locality that had around 40 houses was burned. One of Buddhist temples was Ramu Bara Bouddha Bihara in which thousand-year old Buddha statues were destroyed. Mobs looted and damaged more than 200 houses until 3.00 am in this attack. It is reported that several people were injured in the midnight attack and the Buddhist villagers got panicked and left their houses for safer places. Local people alleged that Md. Didar of BNP led the mob during the arson attack.

Damaged Buddhist artefacts are lined up at a torched Buddhist temple in Ramu. (Photo: STR/ Getty Images)

The fire services managed to douse the blaze around 3.00 am but the temples and the houses were already gutted by then. Around 3.30 am, units of Border Guard Bangladesh, Rapid Action Battalion, and police managed to quell the attack. Local administration imposed section 144 to control the situation. The home minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir and industry ministry Dilip Barua visited the spot on 30 September. 

People walk past the ransacked homes of Buddhists in Ramu. (Photo: STR/ Getty Images)

Photo: Picture taken by local source

Photo: Picture taken by local source

In Patia: on 30 September at noon Islamic militants brought out a militant procession at Patia which was followed by attack on Buddhist and Hindu temples at Patia in Chittagong.
It is reported that several hundred fanatic Muslims took out a procession and launched attacks on the Lakhara Abhoy Buddhist Bihara at around noon and set it on fire. They also attacked the Kolagaon Rotnangkur Buddhist Bihara, Kolagaon Nobarun Sangha Durga Mandir (temple) and the Matri Mandir at Jele Para in Patia upazila.
In Ukhia: On 30 September around 7.00 pm hundreds of extremist Muslims led by general secretary of Awami League of Ukhia upazila Hamidul Hoque Chowdhury and former chairman of Ukhia upazila Mahmudul Haque Chowdhury brought out militant procession at Court Bazar area in Ukhia upazila under Cox’s Bazaar district. The mob conducted attack on Barua-inhabited villages namely Wakhyong Barua Para, Kutupalong, Court Bazaar and Marijya area of Ukhia. They set fire on five Buddhist temples. The Buddhist temples include-
(1)   Paschimratna Sudarshon Buddhist Bihara situated at Court Bazar area,
(2)   Uttar Borobil Buddhist Bihara
(3)   Paschim Maricya Shraddhangkur Buddhist Bihara,
(4)   Rajapalong Zadimura Buddhist Bihara and
(5)   Rejur Kul Dhormashok Buddhist Bihara.
In Teknaf: On 30 September at 7.00 pm thousands of extremist Muslims took out a procession from Hoaikang Lombabil area in Teknaf. The procession was joined by many others when it reached Hoaikang station. They marched down to Laturikhola remote hill area and torched houses of one Buddhist and four Hindu families. In order to disperse the mob, the law enforcers fired some rounds from their guns and seven attackers were hit by bullets.
In Cox’s Bazaar municipality: On 30 September around 9.00 pm hundreds of Muslims from Rahmainia Madrasa of Pahartali running with the support of Rohingya Solidarity Organisation, Khajamandir Burmaiya Para and Boidyaghona and Maheshkhali Para under Cox’s Bazaar municipality brought out a procession. The police rushed there and the mob marched towards Rohingya-inhabited area namely Khajamandir Burmaiya Para and Boidyaghona and Maheshkhali Para. During the procession, the mob threw brick-bats on Rakhaine houses and Buddhist temple.
In Naikhyongchari: On 30 September around 4.00 pm army arrested a Muslim Facebook user while he was downloading a photo defaming the Quran at a computer shop at Chakdhala under Naikhyongchari upaziila in Banbarban district and seized computer. However, agitated Muslims again seized computer and arrested person from army. At a stage, army and Muslims came up into a understanding and situation became calm.
Arrest: Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir on 1 October 2012 said that a total of 166 people were detained over the attacks on Buddhist temples and houses of Buddhist community in Cox's Bazaar and Chittagong.
Comment: The attack on Buddhist community in Cox’s Bazaar and Chittagong was apparently planned attack. Source confirmed that Islamic fanatic groups including Jamat-e-Islam, BNP and Awami League are involved with this attack. However, Islamic militant groups active in Cox’s Bazaar and Naikhyongchari and Rahingyas were main instigators behind the communal violence. During the attacks on 29 and 30 September, the security forces including the Bangladesh Police and the Rapid Action Battalion did not take proper measure or remain mute witness to the systematic violence against helpless Buddhist community.

Bangladeshi Buddhist monks demonstrate in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 after Muslims torched Buddhist temples in southern Bangladesh. (Photo: AP)

Rahingya militant groups tried to conduct communal attack on Rakhaine-inhabited areas in Cox’s Bazaar and Patuakhali district following communal riot between Rakhaine and Rohingyas at Maungdaw Township in Arakan province of Myanmar in June 2012. Rohingya extremist armed groups including Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) are active in Cox’s Bazaar, Chittagong and Bandarban district.
This was not the first attack on the religious minorities in plain land of Bangladesh this year. Islamic extremists made attack in February 2012 at Hathazari in Chittagong, in April in Satkhira and in August at Chirirbandar in Dinajpur which left several Hindu temples and houses were vandalised and torched.

South Asian head of Japanese Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai, Aritomi Mitsuyuki (L) leads prayers at the burnt temple of Sima Bihar (Sima Temple) at Ramu. (Photo: STR/ Getty Images)

Courtesy: CHT News Services (chtnews.group@gmail.com)


  1. It is clearly a shame to see such weak attempts at destroying Buddhism.

    Those mobs have clearly shown the world what their 'god' has taught them. It is appalling and and numbing to witness the gross frailty that they display by trying to violate the human rights of others.

    When Muslims are in their own countries, they destroy other religions. When Muslims are in other countries such as US, they expect others to respect their religion. If Muslims really know what is right from wrong, like their 'god' as taught them, the world wouldn't be so burdened by them.

    Clearly,the world would be better off without them.

    Without trying to destroy other religions and promote theirs, why couldn't they invest their time and energy into feeding some of the kids who rummage through the garbage to satisfy their hunger? At least that way, the world will have some knowledge that their 'religion' worthy of the word 'religion'.

    If the so-called 'allah' is a god and he is all good, he has made the biggest mistake in creating these quasi-animals called the 'muslims' who only know their pain, not that of the others. The mobs have clearly defamed the muslim religion. It is very amusing to see how the muslim believers believe themselves so much that they destroy their own religion.

  2. Let there be light
    Let there be religious harmony...

    Let's spread love
    Only Love can bring all under the same roof of happiness