Special Reports

Destruction of Hindu Temples in Bangladesh (1989)

Islamic reactionary forces went over a rampage all over Bangladesh starting in October 29, 1989. Their excuse was conducting of the Ayodhya shilanyas ceremony in India. Simply on this premise, Islamic fundamentalists attacked and burnt down Hindu homes and business establishments in many places, murdered some Hindus and inflicted injuries on many others. Hindu temples and monasteries invited their special attention. The mob fury reached its climax on November 9 and 10, 1989. Many temples were demolished or burnt down or damaged in various ways. Images of deities were broken and thrown out. Temple priests were beaten up. The Government of Bangladesh ignored these attacks for two weeks. Then it called off the attacks. It also ordered repairs to a dozen temples in a token attempt to show the international community its “secular credentials.” We reproduce below an English translation of the original listing published in Bengali by the Hindu, Buddhist and Christian Unity Council, 53, Tejturi Bazar, Dhaka, Bangladesh is provided below. Please note that it is a partial listing :

District: Narsingdi
( 1 ) On November 11, 1989: The 400-year old historic Kali Temple at Chinishpur was looted and set on fire.
( 2 ) On the same day the Shiva Temple of Brahmandi was looted and set on fire.
( 3 ) On the same day the Kali Temple of Bhelanagar was looted and set on fire.
( 4 ) In the market place of Bhelanagar near Narsingdi town a good number of shops were broken in and looted and some houses were set on fire on the same day.
( 5 ) In the town of Narsingdi, the Bhagbat Ashram was attacked on the same day.
( 6 ) The Kali Temple of Narsingdi town was attacked with arms on the same day.
( 7 ) On the 8th of November 1989, the Milan Kali Temple of Srirampur Bazar in the Raipur Upajila was attacked and the image of the deity broken up.
( 8 ) On the same day at the village of Hashimpur under Raipur Upajila many houses were attacked, looted, and set on fire.

District: Tangail
( 9 ) On November 10 and 11, 1989, in the town of Tangail several temples were attacked and set on fire, and many shops were looted.
( 10 ) In the village of Bajitpur near Tangail many houses belonging to the religious minorities were attacked, looted, and set on fire, and the temples and the images of the deities were broken up.
( 11 ) The temple in the village of Pakrail under Delduar Upajila was attacked, and acts of breaking up and setting on fire were carried out.
( 12 ) In several other villages under Delduar Union the temples were set on fire.
( 13 ) One temple in the village of Pakutia in Tangail was attacked, set on fire and destroyed.
( 14 ) House to house attacks were made on the traditional makers of handloom sarees belonging to the members of religious minorities in the village of Bajitpur, and their handlooms were destroyed.
( 15 ) In the village of Akua in Tangail a temple was destroyed and its foundations removed.
( 16 ) A similar incident took place in the village of Kalihat.
( 17 ) Mr. Dinesh Ch. Basak, deputy chief medical officer of the Meghna Textile Mills, under Bangladesh Textile Industry Corporation, died on November 10 in Tongi. The Mill authorities sent his body to Tangail for cremation, and there a group of miscreants attacked the car carrying the dead body. They also obstructed carrying out of the cremation.

District: Moulavi Bazar
( 18 ) On November 10, 1989, in the District of Moulavi Bazar, at Srimangal Upajila several temples including Ramakrishna Mission, Mangaleswari Kali-Bari, Durga Bari, jagannath-Dev's Akhra, and Kalachand Mandir were attacked, broken in, and set on fire. At present no temple exists at Srimangal.
( 19 ) On November 10, 1989, the Ramakrishna Mission in the city of Moulavi Bazar was attacked and burnt down.
( 20 ) On the same day several Hindu houses and shops in the Srimangal Upajila were attacked, structurally damaged and looted. This happened in front of the officers responsiblele for law and order.

District: Naogaon
( 21 ) On November 10, 1989, several temples in the city of Naogaon were attacked and structurally damaged.
( 22 ) Fear and panic spread in the Hindu villages near the city of Naogaon and many villagers went into hiding for fear of life or prosecution.

District: Sirajganj
( 23 ) On November 11, 1989, at dusk, attackers as a large group emerged from a mosque at Chanyaikona in Upajila Raigarh with agitating slogans, and they attacked many nearby shops and residential places.

District: Rangpur
( 24 ) On November 10, 1989, Friday at 4 pm in the city of Rangpur a huge group in a procession shouting slogans with excitement went on attacking places of worship belonging to the minority communities.
( 25 ) On the same day, the famous Rangpur Dharma Shava building at the Station Road was attacked and severely damaged.
( 26 ) The main Kali Temple in Rangpur known as Sri Sri Karunamoyee Kali-Bari was attacked.
( 27 ) Sri Sri Anandamoyee Ashram at College Road was attacked and massively damaged.

District: Netrokona
( 28 ) The Kali Mandir at Bara Bazar in the city of Netrokona was attacked, looted, structurally damaged and set on fire.

District: Magura
( 29 ) In Magura Sadar Upajila, Bagia Union, at Bagia Thakur bari at the performance of Puja in the jagadhatri Temple on November 6, 1989, armed attacks were made, Ranjit Roy and jagadish Roy were killed, and the image of the deity was broken up and thrown away. The seriously wounded Samar Roy had to be transferred to the Hospital for Disabled in Dhaka.

District: Barishal
( 30 ) On November 15, in the city of Barishal, the temple of Chandan Nagar Para was attacked, broken up and set on fire.
( 31 ) On November 2, in the village of Dhamura in Uzirpur Upajila, a Kali Temple was attacked by an armed group led by Haji Mobasharuddin at 8 pm, the image of the deity was broken up and thrown away, and the temple was set on fire.
( 32 ) On November 17, the Hindu Hostel under B.M. College was attacked and students were indiscriminately beaten up and forced out of the Hostel.
( 33 ) On November 13, at the Sadar Betagi Upajila, temples were broken in and shops belonging to Hindu community were looted. in Agoyeeljhara, the Kali Mandir was destroyed and the image of the deity disappeared.

District: Chittagong
( 34 ) On November 10, in the city of Chittagong, procession took place shouting communal slogans.
( 35 ) In Raujan Upajila at the jagatpur Ashram, attacks were made.
( 36 ) At the historic Kaibalyadham Ashram in Chittagong, attacks were made.
( 37 ) At the village of Sadhanpur and Lankarchar in Patia Upajila some 25 temples were attacked and set on fire and the images of the deities in these temples were broken. Many houses and shops belonging to the members of minority communities were attacked and looted.
( 38 ) In the villages of Uttar Satta and Fate Nagar in Raujan Upajila, and in Nanupur, Badtapur, S. Rosong Giri and Ajadi Bazar under Fatikchar Upajila, several temples were attacked.
( 39 ) On October 29 and 31, in the village of Unainagar, Patia Upajila, on the Chittagong-Kox's Bazar Highway, a bus was stopped and the Buddhist and Hindu passengers were beaten up. In many Buddhist temples the statues of Buddha were broken up.
( 40 ) Under Raujan Upajila in the village of Gujra on October 29 and November 9, the Jalakumari House, RadhaGobinda Ashram and other temples were attacked and set on fire repeatedly.
( 41 ) The Kali Temple of Bashkhali Upajila was attacked.
( 42 ) On November 10, in the region called Patenga Kathghar many Hindu families abandoned their homes for fear of communal persecution. In the city of Sandwip the images of the deities in the Jagannath-Bari, KaliBari, and Char-Ani Shidheswari Kali-Bari were broken up and scattered.

District: Cox's Bazar
( 43 ) Many temples in the various Upajilas of Kox's Bazar were attacked.

District: Noakhali
( 44 ) In the city of Hatia several temples were attacked. In Bazar under Begumganj Upajila the Hari Mandir was destroyed.

District: Jamalpur
( 45 ) The temple at Basakpara in the city of Jamalpur was destroyed.

District: Chandpur
( 46 ) On November 10, at the Purana. Bazar area in the city of Chandpur many shops and businesses and many temples in the suburb of Chandpur were attacked. The temple of Raja Lakshmi-Narayan in Habiganj has been destroyed.

District: Nilfamari
( 47 ) In Saidpur area many temples have been attacked and severely damaged.

District: Jhalakati
( 48 ) On November 9, in the city of Jhalakati almost all temples and the houses and shops belonging to the members of the minority communities were attacked.
( 49 ) The quarters and a temple belonging to the famous folk poet (Charan Kabi) Mukunda Das was attacked and broken up.

District: Narayanganj
( 50 ) On November 10, the Ramakrishna Mission and several shops belonging to the members of minority communities were attacked.

District: Dhaka
( 51 ) Several temples in Dhamrai and Savar were attacked. On November 10, at night, the Dhaka Ramakrishna Mission was attacked. In Demra an ancient cremation structure has been destroyed. In Lalbag police station in Nagar-Bel-Tali Rishi-Para several shops and businesses were attacked, looted and structurally damaged.

District: Laksmipur
( 52 ) On November 14, 1989, in the Union of Charbadarn, Char Alexander, Char Algi and Hajarihat under Raingati Upajila, some 36 houses, shops and businesses belonging to the minority communities were attacked, looted and set on fire, and women were raped and rendered destitute. Besides these, some 11 temples were attacked and destroyed by fire including the temple of Rama-Thakur and Ashrarm of Burakarta.

District: Sylhet
( 53 ) The historic Akhra of Mahaprabhu in Chhatak was attacked, the statue of the Mahaprabhu was broken, and damages were done to the Akhra.

District: Khulna
( 54 ) On November 17, 1989, in the city of Khulna, Dharma Shava Temple, Koylaghat Kalibari, Barabazar Kalibari, and many other temples were attacked and set on fire. At the corner of Barabazar and Picture Palace all shops and businesses belonging to the Hindu community were looted. in the localities inhabited by many Hindus including Tutpara, Baniakhamar and Banargati, armed attacks were made and acts of looting, breaking-in and setting-on-fire were carried out.

District: Bagerhat
( 55 ) On November 17, 1989, the entire temple complex at the Ramakrishna Mission in Bagerhat including Hari Mandir was attacked and structures and the statue of Ramakrishna were broken up. Besides these attacks, acts of destruction were carried out on Fatehpur Kalibari, Bemta Kali Temple, Giletala Hari and Kali temples, Karapara Kali Temple, and Patarpara Kali Temple, and a famous black-stone Siva-Linga was looted.

District: Mymensingh
( 56 ) Hindu houses in the vicinity of the Zamidar-Bari of Muktagachha were attacked with arms and looted, and acts of breaking-up were carried out.

District: Feni
( 57 ) On November 9, in the Union of Radhanagar, and on November 14 in the Union of Dhalia, under Chhagal Naiya Upajila, temples were attacked and acts of breaking up were carried out.
( 58 ) In the village of Char Sonapur under Sonagachhi Upajila, a temple was attacked and acts of breaking-up carried out on Novemnber 12. In the villages of Desherhat and Semerkhil several temple statutes were broken up.
( 59 ) The image of Goddess Kali in the village of Hirapur in Daganbhuia Upajila was broken up.
( 60 ) In the village of Daulatpur under Feni Police Station the image of Goddess Kali was broken up.
( 61 ) The image of Goddess Kali in the temple of Dakshineswari at Shubhapur Bazar in Chhagal Naiya, was broken up and the place was looted an set on fire.

District: Bhola
( 62 ) On November 17, in the city of Bhola, several shops belonging to the religious minorities were attacked and money was collected through threats of violence.

District: Comilla
( 63 ) On November 11, at Muradpuri under Sadar Upajila, a temple was destroyed. In the village of Ramaganj a similar incident happened.
( 64 ) On November 11, at the festival of Rama-Thakur in the city of Comilla, attacks were made using stones and bricks and several people were injured.
( 65 ) On November 12, a Kali Temple in the village of Gahinkhali under Barmbara Upajila was set on fire. Under Muradnagar Upajila at Ramachandrapur Bazar, a temple was totally destroyed.

District: Brahmanbaria
( 66 ) In the village of Shyamgram and Srigrarn under Nabinagar Upajila several temples were attacked.

District: Madaripur
( 67 ) On November 11, the HariTemple of Puranabazar in the city of Madaripur was broken up and a procession against the religious minorities was taken out.
( 68 ) The Dhamusa's Ashram of Kalkini was broken up.

District: Munshiganj
( 69 ) The Kali Temple at Baligaon was broken up.

District: Manikganj
( 70 ) In Saduria Upajila at Saduria itself and in the village of Buriara temples were attacked and acts of breaking-up were committed.

District: Pabna
( 71 ) Temples and shops and businesses in the city of Pabna were attacked and looted.

District: Habiganj
( 72 ) Several temples in the district of Habiganj were attacked.

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