Bangladesh:Fact Finding/Investigative Report of BDMW on the incident of attacks on Minority Hindus on 27.4.2014 at Comilla District: Inbox x


Fact Finding/investigation conducted by Bangladesh Minority Watch
(BDMW) on 30th of April,2014 at Bag Sitarampur Homna Upazila of
Comilla District in Bangladesh relating to attacks, looting,
assaulting on Hindu Minorities on 27.04.2014 on the allegation of
face-book postings by Hindus defaming Islam.

HOMNA-2

Country: Bangladesh

Type of Violation: Right to Religious freedom, Right to Personal
Property, Right to Life

Acts: Looting of houses and temples; Physical assault; (about 35 Hindu
houses and one temples belonging to Hindus were attacked and at least)

Date of investigation: 30th April, 2014

Date of Submission to GHRD: 2ndth May, 2014

GHRD Contact: Elena Atzeni and Nazli Tuncay

Investigation conducted by: Adv. Rabindra Ghosh, Md. Firoz Hossain and
Sidhu Bosu (BDMW)

1. Identity of the victim(s):

Name: 1.Sawpan Chandra Das 2. Harilal Das, 3. Prahlad Das, 4. Chand
Mohan Das, 5. Shepal chandra Das, 6. Nihar Chandra Das, 7. Anil
Chandra Das, 8. Dr. Durgapada Das, 9. Akhil chandra Das, 10. Ajit
Chandra Das, 11. Haradhan Das, 12. Ranjit Chandra Das, 13. Niranjan
Chandra Das, 14. Sreenath Das, 15. Birendra Chandra Das, 16. Priyanath
Das, 17. Thakur Das, 18. Tapan Das, 19. Joydeb Das, 20. Paban Chandra
Das, 21. Uttam Das, 22. Gopal Chandra Das, 23. Biswassar Chandra Das,
24. Shymol Chandra Das, 25. Banamali Das, 26. Parimal Das, 27. Nirmal
Das, 28. Hari Kamal Das, 29. Amar Chandra Das, 30. Haripada Goswami,
31.Sreenath Chandra Das,32. Ranjit Das,33. Haradhan Chandra Das,
34.Tufani Chandra Das, 35. Ram chandra Das, and others.

Age at time of event:

Under 18: Multiple 10 to 80 years

Citizenship: Bangladesh

Religion: Hindu

Ethnicity: Religious Minority

Caste:

Home address: Village : Bag Sitarampur of Homna
Upazila within Comilla District in Bangladesh.

Consent given: Yes

2. Date and place of event:

Date: 26th April, 2014

Location: Bag Sitarampur village of Homna Sub-district in
Comilla District

3. Alleged perpetrator(s):

1) Nazrul Islam (22) son of Zahangir

2. Quium (22) son of Giasuddin,

3. Mufti Nuruzzaman (55) son of not known,

4. Moulana Hedayetullah (55) son of late Sirajul Islam,

5. Moulana Shah Alam (50) son of not known,

6. Abdul Barik Master (55) son of not known,

7. Moulana Habibullah (40) son of late Mofizul,

8. Motaleb Khan Principal (55) son of not known,

9. Ebadul Mollah (50) son of Safad Ali,

10. Md. Shafi Uddin (25) son of Saidul Islam,

11. Mohammad Hanif (24) son of Younus Meah,

12. Robiullah (27) son of Abul Hashem,

13. Al-Ameen (22), son of Amir Hossain,

14. Abdul Halim (50) son of Talu Meah,

15. Moulana Sha Alam (35) son of not known,

16. Musa (34) son of Momen Meah,

17. Nurul Islam Mollah (35) son of late Abul Hashem,

18. Mohammad Kabir (35) son of Samad Meah,

19. Md. Omar Faruk (28) son of Mobarak Hossain,

20. Selim (26) son of late Alek Meah,

21. Mohammad Asik (21) son of Md. Harun Meah,

22. Altaf (24) son of Zahed Ali,

23. Abil Meah (24) son of Abdus Samad,

24. Mufti Nazrul Islam (40) son of not known,

25. Moulana Abdul Quddus (42) son of late Nayeb Ali,

26. Abdur Rahman (38) son of Fazlul Rahman,

27. Jasim (22) son of Moslem Meah,

28. Sudan Meah (35) son of Musa,

29. Mohammad Faruk Meah Molla (40) son of Younus Momin,

30. Adil (25) son of Rabi Meah,

31. Robi Meah (52) son of late Nayeb Ali,

32. Mohammad Giasuddin (53) son of late Mansur Ali,

33. Din Islam (25) son of Fazlul Karim,

34. Faisal (25) son of Tazul Islam,

35. Moulanna Musa (38) son of not known,

36. Md. Kabir (25) son of Venga Hossain,

37. Al-Ameen (22) son of Humayun

38. Md. Russel (22) son of Zahed Ali,

39. Motaleb Huzur –Rampur Madrasha.

40. Faisal (25) son of Tazul Islam,

41. Saifuddin (25) son of not known.

42. Moulana Yousuf (36) son of not known.

43. Anis (30) son of Abdul Zabbar

44. Mosharaff (27) son of Abul Hashem,

45. Takkul (20) son of Motin Meah

46. Qumrul (25) son of not known.

47. Mohibul (24) son of Sahi Meah,

48. Sattar Meah son of Raham Ali,

49. Hossain Mollah (38) son of late Tara Meah.

50. Saha Alam Huzur (50) son of not known.

51. Shafique (25) son of not known,

52. Faruk (27) son of not known,

53. Mohammad Hanif (24) son of Younus Meah,

54. Helal (28) son of late Rahiam,

55. Mohammad Hanif (25) son of Raham Ali,

56. Habizul Meah (22) son of Mojibur Rahman,

57. Nazrul Islam (23) son of late Noaz Ali,

58. Yeamin (20) son of Bazlu Meah,

59. Jiban Meah (50) son of not known.

60. Rokib (35) son of late Monu Meah,

61. Farid Meah (56) son of late Abu Meah,

62. Soleman (25) son of Fazlu Karim,

63. Hamood (45) son of Hajee Mongal Meah,

64. Sadeque (28) son of Hossain Meah,

65. Ismail (25) son of Jabbar Meah

66. Kali Bhuiya (35) son of Monu Meah,

67. Imran (25) son of not known.

68. Mohammad Jalal (30) son of late Fazil Meah, and more so.

Fact of the Case: Bag Sitarampur (Das Para) is a place within the
border area of Murdnagar Upazila and Homna Upazila of Comilla District
is remotest area 13 kilometres away from Homna Police station. 42
Hindu families live their home since long peacefully. On 26th
April,2014 some Muslim detected a bad comment on the face-book of
Uddob Chandra Das and Sreenibash Kumar Das against Prophet Hazarat
Mohammad which triggered Muslim mob to agitate thousands of Muslims.
On 27th April, 2014 at about 2.30 p.m. on hearing the news of alleged
bad comment made by two Hindu student namely 1) Uddob Das and
Sreenibash Das in the face book regarding Prophet (SM) Mohammad
thousands of perpetrators belonging to Muslim from different areas
assembled from different directions, armed with deadly weapons such as
Ram Dao, axe, iron rod, strong hammer, cane etc appeared before Sree
Sree Radha Krishna Temple of Das Para and they started throwing
agitated slogans against Hindus and started to breaking, looting,
arsoning, physically assulting Hindus, resulting 35 Hindus houses with
a Temple demolished and desecrated within a twinkle of an eye. Due to
abrupt attacks women and children belonging to Hindus fled away, some
of them swimming in the “Titas” river, took shelter in the paddy
fields, some took shelter nearest villages, Perpetrators demolished
house, Hindu deities and looted belongings( gold ornaments, cash Taka
of Birendra Chandra Das amounting to Taka 4,00,000/-, Perpetrators
also demolished houses and looted the wealth of Sreenath Chandra Das
amounting to Taka 3,00,000/-, Due to attacks Ranjit Chandra Das lost
properties taka 2,50,000/-, Niranjan Chandra Das lost properties worth
Taka 3,00,000/- including gold ornaments, Haradhan Chandra Das lost
properties worth Taka 3,20,000/-, Sree Tufani Chandra Das lost
properties due to attack worth Taka 1,50,000/-, Ram Chandra Das lost
properties worth Taka 1,20,000/- and other victims namely Tapan
Chandra Das, Bonomali chandra Das, Ms Suniti Bala Goswami and more 25
family members lost properties approximate amounting to 65 to 70
million of Taka.

Investigation: I, Adv. Rabindra Ghosh along with Md. Firoz Hossain,
Sidhu Bosu of BDMW rushed to the spot on 30th of April, 2014 and
reached Homna P.S. at about 2 p.m. The officer in charge of Homna
P.S. and Inspector of Police (Investigation) accompanied us at the
spot by a taxi cab. But we had to reach the spot two kilometres by
foot due to bad communication facilities at the spot. We found some
police personnel were patrolling the affected area, but the minority
victims mostly women and children are found in a panic environment. We
also interrogated the local Member of Union Parishad Md. Nayeem Mollah
who resides within a radius of 100 meters away from the place of
occurrence. He said “I got information about the news of face-book
posting on 26.04.2014 and there was a wide circulated sentiment
amongst the Muslim communities, Muslim communities hurriedly assembled
and started to agitate people from different mosques and Madrasha by
using loud speakers by mike urging Muslim to come to fight for
religion on the same day, but I tried to settle the matter within the
same communities by an arbitration and as such a delay has been caused
to report the matter to the law enforcing authority” and the U.P.
Chairman – Md. Abul Bashar said “I was not aware about the face book
news, I got news when the perpetrators attacked the village on
27.04.2014 at the evening. During the attack I was not at the spot, I
was at Upazila Complex at Homna, I got information from U.P. Member
Md. Nayeem Mollah over phone on 27.04.14 while U.P. Member failed to
negotiate with agitated Muslims and I informed the matter at about 4
p.m. to local police station for taking necessary action. But before
the police reaches at about 4.30 most of the houses belonging to
Hindus have been demolished and properties looted, one Hindu temple
desecrated, deities demolished. In the meantime perpetrators
decamped.” I also wanted to know from U.P. Member Md. Nayeem Mollah
why delay has been made to appraise the situation on the previous day
i.e. on 26.04.2014 before unfortunate incident of attack took place,
he could not answer. I also interrogated most of the victims at the
spot who were crying for justice and security. They totally denied the
allegations of such defamation against Hazarat Mohammad (SM) by two
Hindu victims (who are now in Custody in connection with case number
16 dated 28.04.14 under section 57(2) of Information Technology
Act,2006 lodged by Abdullah Al-Baki- S. I. of Police, Homna P.S,
Comilla.

I also talked with Md. Tofazzal Hossain Meah- Deputy Commissioner of
Comilla District (Cell number 01711182946 who gave me to understand
that he visited the spot and necessary foods, utensils, cash money had
been distributed amongst the victims, although the help is not
adequate, he has every sympathy for those victims. Further he will try
to help some more funds for their survival. We also corroborated the
statements of facts with other witnesses available during fact finding
which had been proved to be genuine.

4. Legal status:

· Case registered by one Ram Pada Das on behalf of other
victims at the Local Homna police station being Homna P.S. case No15.
28.04.2014 u/s 6(2)12 of Anti- Terrorism Act, 2009.

· Another case lodged by Abdullah Al-Baki – S.I of Police,
Homna police station against two Minority persons Uddob Chandra
Das(21) and Sreenibash Kumar Das for alleged posting of remarks
against Hazrat (SM) in the face book being Homna P.S. case No.16 dated
28.04.2014 under section 57(2) of Information, Technology and
Communication, Act,2006.

· Homna Police arrested 18 perpetrators and police brought 9
perpetrators for remand till writing of this report including Uddob
Chandra Das and Sreenibash Kumar Das in connection with those cases.
Both the cases are now under investigations by police.

·

5. Case Summary:

Houses/Temples belonging to Hindus minorities were attacked, and
vandalized over Face book posting rumours at Homna Upazila of Comilla
district on 27 of April, 2014 ( Almost all newspapers from Bangladesh
dated 28th April, 14 reported the case).

At least 35 houses and one Temples of Hindus were attacked by a group
of agitated Muslim men of Bag Sitarampur village of Homna Upazila in
Comilla on Sunday following rumours that two Hindu boy posted
something in Facebook maligning Prophet Muhammad (SM) Locals and
police said that the attacks were carried out in the evening following
the rumour was spread by a group of people mostly youths and continued
for several hours.

Mr. Tutul Chakravorty, S.P. at Comilla could not confirm whether the
posting existed on the social media website, Face book. He, however,
told the reporters “We are investigating to find any such posting on
the boy’s wall”. He claimed that the situation was now under control
after day long trouble as additional law enforcers were deployed in
the affected area.

Md. Aslam Sikdar-Officer in Charge of Homna P.S. said that some people
at the local market showed some printout of the image of a Facebook
group that allegedly demeaned Islam and the Prophet. He also handed
over some printed papers where there is no date and time of those
printed face-book papers.

Being instigated, thousand of attackers jumped over the houses of
Uddob Das, and Sreenibash Chandra Das and adjoining houses belonging
to other religious minority , looted valuables worth Taka 65 to 70
million who are reportedly not responsible for posting any bad
remarks in the face book.

6. Action taken:

BDMW observer investigated the incident at the spot of attacks on
minorities. They urge international human rights organizations to
unanimously come forward to protect the minorities in the country.

BDMW also recommends that:-

a) All perpetrators should be arrested very soon; the
instigators responsible for not informing the situation before the
occurrence on 27th April,14 to the law enforcing agencies in the name
of negotiation and arbitration should be brought to book as per law.

b) The face book matter detected on 26th April,14 has not yet
been investigated; but those two victims have been sent to jail
custody by the police in connection with Case No.16 dated 28.04.2014
most probably over powering anger of Muslim mob.

c) The agitation by the Muslim attackers on 26th April,2014
canvassing, assembling unlawful manner should have been tackled by the
police and local administration at that relevant time, but that was
not initiated due to obvious reasons.

d) The perpetrators whatsoever should be punished as per law.

e) The lapses on the part of law enforcing agencies not according
any protection to victims are responsible for such occurrence should
be taken into consideration cautiously.

f) The impunity to the perpetrators is responsible for repeated
occurrence of religiously motivated attacks.

g) The victims should be rehabilitated so that they can get back
their confidence to live peacefully at their home and hearth.

h) The arrested minority victims Uddab Chandra Das and Sreenibash
Kumar Das should be freed immediately as the police did not identify
the actual posting of bad remarks in the face book.

We also came back from Comilla to Dhaka on the same night at about 1 a.m

Through:

Adv. Rabindra Ghosh

Founder President-Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW)

12-K.M. Das Lane, Tikatully-Wari P.S.,Dhaka, Bangladesh.

7. Case Documents:

· Case file by BDMW, copy of FIR, copy of paper clippings and photos.

· News canning (The Daily Star, The New Age, The Janakantha
dated 28.04.2014 The Protom Alo, dated 30.04.14 The Bangladesh
Protidin dated 29.04.2014, The Sangbad dated 29.04.2014, and The
Ittefaq dated 28.04.2014)

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