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Ramu Buddha
On 29-30 September 2012 Muslim extremists attacked the Buddhist community in Ramu, Ukhia, Teknaf and Coxs Bazaar municipality area under Coxs Bazaar district and Patia in Chittagong district. It was in retaliation of a Facebook posting defaming the Quran allegedly by a Facebook user Uttam Barua. In this attack at least a dozen Buddhist temples were destroyed and around 200-250 Buddhist homes were ransacked and robbed. Besides 2 Hindu temples were vandalised in Patia.

Muslim extremists attack Buddhists in Cox's Bazaar and Chittagong districts

On 29-30 September 2012, Muslim extremists attacked Buddhist community in Ramu, Ukhia, Teknaf and Coxs Bazaar city of Coxs Bazaar district and Patia in Chittagong district. The attack was in response to alleged defamation of Quran by a Buddhist youth Uttam Barua in the Facebook. Muslim extermists torched and damaged 14 Buddhist temples and around 200-250 Buddhist houses. Besides, 2 Hindu temples were vandalised in Patia.

On 29 September around 9.00 pm, Muslim extremists brought out a procession at Chowmuhoni area of Ramu. The procession was led by Mohamed Saddam, leader of Awami League. The procession was addressed by Nurul Islam Selim president of Ramu press club and Apel Bhutta leader of Awami League. Besides, Abul Kasem of BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party), Mohamed Didar of BNP, Mohamed Jahangir of Jamat-e-Islami were present in the meeting. Around 8 thousand Muslim extemists attended the procession. At a subsequent rally, they claimed a youth by the name of Uttam Barua (24) had posted the purportedly offensive photo of burning Quran in the social networking website and demanded his arrest.

At around 11.30 pm the militant procession marched towards the Buddhist neighbourehood in Ramu and some youths set Buddhist homes on fire. At that time, Lutfar Rahman Kajal, BNP lawmaker of Coxs Bazar and Sohel Sarwar Kajal, vice chairman of Ramu were also present and they did not prevent the mob from attacking the Buddhist community.

Ramu Buddha

From then on, at least 30 houses, 3 temples including Saada Ching and Laal Ching were burned to the ground. A 100-foot high Buddha image was also ravaged in Bimukti Bidarshan Bhabana Centre in Ramu. The monk of this temple was also wounded. Then Muslim extremists torched and ransacked Ramu Maitree Bihara, Saada Chinglaal, Ramy Sina Bihara and Jadiparha Bouddha Bihara. The extremists torched at least 20 Buddhist houses at Purbo Merongloa. Mobs robbed and damaged more than 200 houses until 3.00 am. An aged person named Buchi Sharma (70) died from burning. Several people were injured in the midnight attack. The Buddhist villagers got panicked and left their houses for safer places. Local people alleged that Mohamed Didar of BNP led the mob during the arson attack.

Following Buddhist temples were torched and damaged in Ramu.

  1. Saada Ching
  2. Laal Ching
  3. Bimukti Bidarshan Bhabana
  4. Ramu Maitree Bihara
  5. Saada Chinglaal
  6. Ramy Sina Bihara
  7. Jadiparha Bouddha Bihara

The fire services managed to douse the blaze around 3.00 am but the temples and the houses were already gutted by then. Around 3.30 am, units of Border Guard Bangladesh, Rapid Action Battalion, and police managed to quell the attack. Local administration imposed section 144 to control the situation. The home minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir and industry ministry Dilip Barua visited the spot on 30 September.

Ramu Buddha

Patia: on 30 September at noon Muslim extremists brought out a militant procession at Patia which was followed by attack on Buddhist and Hindu temples at Patia in Chittagong. Several hundred Muslim fanatics brought out a procession and launched attacks on the Lakhara Abhoy Buddhist Bihara at around noon and set it on fire. They also attacked the Kolagaon Rotnangkur Buddhist Bihara, Kolagaon Nobarun Sangha Durga Mandir (temple) and the Matri Mandir at Jele Para in Patia.

Following Buddhist temples were torched and damaged in Patia.

  1. Lakhara Abhoy Buddhist Bihara
  2. Kolagaon Rotnangkur Buddhist Bihara

Following Hindu temples were vandalized in Patia

  1. Kolagaon Nobarun Sangha Durga Mandir
  2. Matri Mandir


Ukhia: On 30 September around 7.00 pm hundreds of Muslim extremists led by Hamidul Hoque Chowdhury, general secretary of Awami League of Ukhia and Mahmudul Haque Chowdhury former chairman of Ukhia brought out militant procession at Court Bazar area in Ukhia under Coxs Bazaar district. The mob attacked Buddhist-inhabited villages namely Wakhyong Baruapara, Kutupalong, Court Bazaar and Marijya area of Ukhia. They set fire on 5 Buddhist temples. The Buddhist temples include-

  1. Paschimratna Sudarshon Buddhist Bihara situated at Court Bazar area
  2. Uttar Borobil Buddhist Bihara
  3. Paschim Maricya Shraddhangkur Buddhist Bihara
  4. Rajapalong Zadimura Buddhist Bihara
  5. Rejur Kul Dhormashok Buddhist Bihara

Teknaf: On 30 September at 7.00 pm thousands of Muslim extremists took out a procession from Hoaikang Lombabil area in Teknaf. The procession was joined by many others when it reached Hoaikang station. They marched down to Laturikhola remote hill area and torched houses of one Buddhist and four Hindu families. In order to disperse the mob, the law enforcers fired some rounds from their guns and seven attackers were hit by bullets.

Coxs Bazaar municipality: On 30 September around 9.00 pm hundreds of Muslims from Rahmainia Madrasa of Pahartali, Khajamandir Burmaiya Para, Boidyaghona and Maheshkhali Para under Coxs Bazaar municipality brought out a procession. The police rushed there and the mob marched towards Buddhist-inhabited area. During the procession, the mob threw brick-bats on Rakhine houses and Buddhist temple.


Naikhyongchari: On 30 September around 4.00 pm army arrested a Muslim Facebook user while he was downloading a photo defaming the Quran at a computer shop at Chakdhala under Naikhyongchari in Banbarban district and seized computer. However, agitated Muslims again seized computer and arrested person from army. At a stage, army and Muslims came up into a understanding and situation became calm.

Islamic fanatic groups including Jamat-e-Islam, BNP and Awami League were involved in these attacks. However, Islamic militant groups active in Coxs Bazaar and Naikhyongchari and Rohingyas were the main instigators behind the communal violence. Rohingya militant groups tried to conduct communal attack on Rakhine-inhabited areas in Coxs Bazaar and Patuakhali district following communal riot between Rakhine and Rohingyas at Maungdaw Township in Arakan province of Myanmar in June 2012. Rohingya extremist armed groups including Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) are active in Coxs Bazaar, Chittagong and Bandarban district.


Sources:

CHT News Services is an independent online news services on the situation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), south-eastern part of Bangladesh which is the home of multi-lingual indigenous Jumma peoples.


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