Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) condemns recent brutal attacks on the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh and expresses solidarity with our Bangladeshi Hindu brothers and sisters during this challenging time.
Since October 14, 2021, systematic attacks against Hindus have taken place in Bangladesh, including vandalism of Durga Pooja pandals during the Navratri festival, mob lynching of devotees, and spreading of false rumors to incite the mob to attack Hindus. Hindu temples were attacked in many cities, including an ISKCON temple, killing one of the devotees. Mobs vandalized 66 homes of Hindus and torched 20. The actual numbers are likely much higher.
This is not the first incident where the minority Hindu community was attacked. We must recall the Hindu Genocide of 1971 in Bangladesh and remember that the Hindu population in that country, which was 28 percent then, is now reduced to 8 percent. Documentation from Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a Bangladeshi human rights organization, estimates over 3,600 attacks targeting Hindus in Bangladesh since 2013. These attacks include vandalism and arson of over 550 houses and 440 shops and businesses. According to ASK, over 1,670 vandalism and arson attacks on Hindu temples and deities were reported during the same period. Such incidents result in an environment of fear and intimidation.
We urge the Government of Bangladesh urgently to investigate and hold the perpetrators accountable while providing appropriate remedies to the victims of these heinous crimes. We also demand that the Governments of India and the United States raise the issue with Bangladesh through diplomatic channels and seek effective investigation and prosecution of those who committed these heinous crimes to deter and prevent any such occurrences in the future. Bangladesh is obligated to protect the Hindu minority and ensure religious freedom.