Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Advocate Robindra Ghosh, President-Bangladesh Minority Watch [BDMW] sent a number of informative reports on fresh persecution of religious minorities in Bangladesh. Abduction of a Christian girl: Silvia Sarker [Merry], aged about 12 and a student of 8th grade was abducted on July 30, 2009 on her way to home from school in Barisal district [southern part of Bangladesh] by a group of armed youths. Silvia Sarker is a student of local Sreemati Matrimongal Girls High School. BDMW informs that a group of culprits named Al-Amin Faria , Shamim Faria , Shahadat Faria  amd Sattar Faria  of the locality abducted Silvia Sarker at around 1:00 pm from a place which is two kilometer away from the local police station. A first information report [formal case] was lodged on August 2, 2009 by Julian Sarker, father of the Christian school girl, under section 7/30 of the Women and Children Repression Act. Case number 3. In the first information report, it was alleged that the victim was abducted for forceful conversion to Islam and was forced to marry a Muslim boy. She was subsequently raped by her abducter. Local newspapers carried news of this abduction. Police failed to rescue the girl from the captivity of the abducters.
Though police arrested two of the accuseds, but they later were released on bail from the court and started giving threats of dire consequence to family members of the abducted girl.
Attack on Hindu temple:
A group of influential locals under the leadership of one Ibrahim attacked ‘Lord Shiva Temple’ at Dhamrai sub-district, under Dhaka district of October 8, 2009. Attackers demolished deities, looted valuables and injured 10 Hindus including the priest of the temple. Subsequently a case was lodged with the local police station by the priest Mongal Chandra Mondal [a local Hindu], but police did not arrest any of the attackers for reason unknown.
Forceful conversion of a Hindu girl:
The Trend of fraudulent conversion by Muslims personifying Hindu
adolescent girls increased abnormally at Joypurhat [northern part of
the country] in Bangladesh. In those areas, a sense of insecurity
prevails amongst the Hindu communities due to such unabated trend. The
local administration also failed to provide adequate protection to
victim families of Hindu communities.
Purnima Rani – daughter of Dulal Roy of Chitra Para-Joypurhat town was missing for weeks. She was not rescued by police as her abducters were patronized by local leaders of the ruling party. In this area, police regularly deny to register complaints of abduction and forceful conversion.
Another Hindu girl named Nabami Sarkar – daughter of Akhil Sarkar as well Krishna Rani, Mina Debnath, Shikha Debnath and Prativa Rani [all Hindu girls] were forcefully abducted for conversion into Islam by influential locals.
At the frantic bid of the human rights and minority rights groups, local police rescued Purnima Roy daughter of Dulal Roy on October 9, 2009 and produced her before the court. The court sent her to judicial custody.
In another incident, a Hindu girl named Krishna was abducted by a Muslim boy and later was raped in captivity. Local finally were able to rescue the girl in a critical condition. Though a case was lodged, there was no action by the police against the perpetrators. It is alleged that, local politicians belonging to the ruling party are putting pressure on police in remaining silent on such cases of abduction and conversion, as many Muslims consider conversions as a ‘Holy task’.
Most of the Hindu parents of girl children are in serious fear, as such abduction and forceful conversion may happen with their girls any moment.
Trend of forceful conversion of religious minorities to Islam is increasing in Bangladesh especially after the increase of activities of Tablighi jamaat as well as provocative sermons by Muslim clergies in the mosques. These clergies and Tablighis offer heaven for the person and his parents and fore-parents for a successful conversion of a religious minority girl or boy into Islam.
According to Bangladesh law, abduction and forceful conversion is a criminal offense. But, none were ever convicted by any courts of law in the country for forcefully converting any minority girl into Islam. In most cases, the abducted girls are converted into Islam and subsquently married to a Muslim boy. Before trial starts, these abducted girls mostly become pregnant. So, they fail to speak out against such crime, fearing finally being abandoned both by her ‘husband’ as well members of her family and community. Several females, who were victims of such notoriety finally ended up in local brothels, being totally abandoned by everyone.
Establishment of a rehabilitation center for such minority girls, who are abducted, violated and finally rescued but abandoned by the families and societies should be established in Bangladesh for the greater cause of humanity.
On the other hand, Bangladeshi government should also introduce strict law for the incidents of attack on religious temples or worship places by any citizen of the country.