07/30/2009, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Muslims attack Hindus, ransack a temple and destroy four houses

by William Gomes
The incident took place at night on 25 July. Five people were hospitalised because of their injuries. For Annie Halder, a local Catholic human rights activist, the episode highlights the deep sense of insecurity felt by religious minorities living in the largely Muslim country.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – A group of Muslims attacked four Hindu-owned houses after ransacking a Hindu temple in Narsangdi District, about 50 kilometres from the capital Dhaka. The episode occurred at night on 25 July in a village called Charsindhu.

The armed attackers from the local Muslim community stormed a local Hindu place of worship. Local Hindus came running to protect their temple but were beaten up instead. Eventually the attackers turned against the houses of some of the Hindus. Five people were eventually hospitalised 

Local police moved in quickly and arrested those responsible for the violence.

Annie Halder, a local Catholic human rights activist, told AsiaNews that the episode in Charsindhu is indicative of the deep sense of insecurity that pervades the lives of religious minorities in this predominantly Muslim country.

Attacks by Muslim groups against Hindu and Christian families are frequent, especially in the villages. In many cases the culprits are not pursued by the law.

Bangladesh is home to about 143 million people, 60 per cent of whom live in rural areas.

Muslims constitute about 85 per cent of the population. More than 16 million are Hindus who are the country’s largest minority.

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