Odhikar

The simultaneous destruction of Buddhist and Hindu temples with flammable substances and explosives resulting in enormous damage to people’s property and trust

This report was prepared by an Odhikar fact finding team after visiting the crime scenes in Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong.

On September 29, 2012 about 7.30 pm, a controversial photo showing disrespect for the Holy Quran was shared from the facebook profile of a local Buddhist young man called Uttom Kumar Borua of Haitupi village, Ramu Upazila in Cox’s Bazaar district. The chairman of Ramu upazila’s Awami Motshojibi League Ansarul Haque Bhutto was on Uttom Kumar Borua’s friend-list. When Bhutto came across the picture that was demeaning towards the Muslim’s Holy Book, ‘The Al- Quran’, on Uttom’s facebook profile, he talked to him on the phone and they argued. After that, at about 9pm, Bhutto himself led a procession demanding the punishment of Uttom Borua for defaming the Holy Quran. After the procession, a meeting was held at the Choumuhoni Chottor in Ramu. In the meeting they demanded the punishment of Uttom Borua and a strike to be called on September 30, 2012. Jubo League leader Nurul Islam Selim; Fotekharpul Union’s Shechhashebok League’s President Azizul Haque along with the local Awami League activists were present at the meeting. After the meeting another procession took place. It went through many different roads in Ramu. When the procession entered the Boruapara, the President of Ramu Upazila Awami League and Upazila Chairman Sohel Sarwar Kajol joined the procession. A few young men on motorcycles followed Sohel Sarwar Kajol. Quickly a few thousand men joined the procession. At first they looted the Buddhist temples in the Boruapara, threw stones and finally torched the temples. Soon after, along with Ramu Upazila in Cox’s Bazaar, the Buddhist temples in Ukhia Upazila and Teknaf Upazila, all came under attack at once. Beside the Buddhist temples, the houses of members of the Hindu community were looted, vandalized and torched.

Fact finding report-other-Ramu-2012 (full text in English, PDF)

Fact finding report-other-Ramu-2012 (full text in Bangla, PDF)

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