Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner Saad Hammadi has urged the authorities to take urgent steps to protect the members of the minority community in Bangladesh against any attacks and ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims.
"Authorities must promptly, thoroughly, impartially and transparently investigate the incidents and bring those suspected to be responsible for the violence and vandalism to account through fair trials," said Hammadi.
Violence erupted in Bangladesh following allegations on social media that a copy of the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was desecrated at a puja pandal (temporary structures made for the religious ceremony) in Cumilla on October 13.
Responding to the "violent attacks" on Hindu minority households and temples in Bangladesh during and after the Durga Puja, the country’s biggest Hindu festival, Hammadi said reports of a spate of attacks by angry mobs against members of the Hindu community, their homes, temples and puja pandals are "symptomatic of the growing anti-minority sentiment" in the country.
Targeting religious sensitivities to stoke communal tension is a serious human rights violation and requires immediate and decisive action from the government to address the situation of minorities in the country, said Hammadi.