Nobody was raped, no Hindu temple was demolished in Durga Puja riots: Bangladesh
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen went on to say that, contrary to popular belief, only six persons lost their lives in the recent unrest, four of them being Muslims killed during clashes with the law enforcement.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has clarified that during the recent communal clashes in the country nobody was raped and that no Hindu temples were demolished during the violence. He went on to say that, contrary to popular belief, only six persons lost their lives in the recent unrest, four of them being Muslims killed during clashes with the law enforcement. Momen stated that two of the victims were Hindus, one of whom died naturally while the other drowned in a pond. He asserted that no one was raped and no temple was demolished. He did, however, admit that idols of deities or goddesses were vandalised. Though the violence was sad and should not have occurred, the administration acted quickly, Momen claimed.
The minister stated that the offenders had been apprehended and were in police custody and that 20 houses that were burnt down had been restored. He went on to say that everyone had received compensation and that more was on the way. The minister accused "a few excited media" and people of disseminating "cooked-up tales," saying it was done to discredit the government's commitment to religious peace. He also emphasised that the number of Puja mandaps in Bangladesh had risen considerably in recent years as the government had assisted them financially.
The minister described the primary accused, Iqbal Hossain, as a drug addict who placed a copy of the Holy Quran near the foot of a deity's idol. He stated that the government is committed to bringing every offender to book and saving its citizens, regardless of faith.
He went on to say that law enforcement is looking into the situation. Momen's comment comes after Bangladesh Information and Broadcasting Minister M Hasan Mahmud stated that individuals close to Pakistan who opposed the 1971 independence struggle intended to sow seeds of sectarian discord in his nation. He also faulted late President, General Hussain Muhammad Ershad, for introducing religion into the country's Constitution which was initially intended to be secular.