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Durga puja pandal attacks: Those Who Attacked Hindu Temples “Will Be Hunted Down”, says Bangladesh PM

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Guwahati: The Bangladesh government has promised swift action against those behind attacks on Hindu temples and Durga Puja celebrations amid criticism that the Muslim-majority country hasn’t done enough to protect minorities.

Four people were killed in violence after some Hindu temples were vandalised during Durga Puja celebrations, prompting Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to deploy paramilitary force in 22 districts on Thursday.

“The incidents in Comilla are being thoroughly investigated. Nobody will be spared. It doesn’t matter which religion they belong to. They will be hunted down and punished,” she said while exchanging greetings with the Hindus during an event at Dhakeshwari National Temple in Dhaka, news agency PTI reported.

“We are getting a large amount of information. This is an era of technology and those involved in the incident will definitely be tracked down with the use of the technology,” Ms Hasina said.

India has sought action against the people behind the violence unleashed during the Durga Puja celebrations.

Videos on social media show large mobs breaking Durga Puja installations, throwing stones and vandalising Hindu temples. Some show idols of Goddess Durga broken by mobs.

India has called the reports of violence “disturbing”. “We have seen disturbing reports of untoward incidents, involving attacks on a religious gathering in Bangladesh. We note the government of Bangladesh has reacted promptly to ensure the control of the situation including deployment of law enforcement machinery,” foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, news agency ANI reported.

The authorities in Bangladesh enforced a ban on rallies in Haziganj where officials confirmed the deaths of four people with gunshot wounds, adding that two others were critically injured in the clashes, PTI reported.

According to officials in Bangladesh, the police were alerted about an alleged blasphemy incident at a Durga Puja pavilion in Cumilla, about 100 km from Dhaka, after which an investigation was launched. However, violence erupted after a mob attacked temples in parts of Cumilla, neighbouring Haziganj, northwestern coastal sub-districts of Hatia and Banskhali. Social media was used largely to instigate the communal tensions, PTI reported.

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