USCIRF Raises Concerns on Bangladesh Religious Violence

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF) expressed grave worry about this week’s attacks on Durga Puja celebrations in Bangladesh and the country’s ongoing communal unrest.

Several Hindu holy sites have been attacked in recent days, which Bangladesh’s Home Minister, Asaduzzaman Khan, described as acts aimed at undermining the country’s communal unity.

 “USCIRF is gravely troubled about the recent wave of violence against Hindus that have erupted in Bangladesh. We applaud Prime Minister Shiekh Hassina’s response to the heinous crimes by sending paramilitary forces to contain violence,” USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza said.

Maenza said they continue to urge the Bangladeshi government to crackdown on extremist elements that fan anti-Hindu sentiments. 

Social media images sparked violent riots and vandalism at Hindu temples in Bangladesh.

“We are especially disturbed by the widespread attacks and desecration of Hindu places of worship,” said USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava.

 “The communal violence has left hundreds injured and a few reportedly killed. USCIRF urges the Bangladeshi government to safeguard the rights and security of Hindus and all religious communities in the country and hold the perpetrators of these gruesome attacks responsible,” Bhargava added.

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