The international media is indifferent to violence that Muslims commit against hapless non-Muslim populations, and even in some cases deliberately tries to hide instances of such atrocities, so that the news of them can take weeks to reach us. The Bagura attacks in Bangladesh are one such instance; these attacks occurred on January 11, 2023, but we could only gather some limited information about them recently.
The horrific attack on the minority community by a crowd comprising hundreds of Muslims was orchestrated shortly after a similar attack that took place in Barisal, Bangladesh, where a group of Muslims carried out planned attacks on Hindu properties with the motive of wiping out the entire Hindu population of Barisal. This violence was prompted by a minor feud over sweets and rapidly escalated into a communal riot.
Following the attack in Barisal, at around 11 AM on Wednesday, another attack targeting religious minorities took place in Gorta village under Bhavanipur union of Sherpur upazila of Bogura district of Bangladesh.
As per a few media reports, around 600-700 Muslims from the nearby Muslim-dominated villages of Ambail, Cheinda, and Gorta assembled after responding to an announcement from a mosque at Gorta village.
The murderous crowd was armed with rustic weapons such as rods, bamboo, stocks, and other sharp objects and started attacking the Hindu houses of the village. They vandalized several Hindu houses and looted valuables. They also started gratuitously assaulting the male members of the Hindu households. When the Hindu women came to save the men, members of the Muslim crowd started molesting them. Many women were also beaten severely.
Reportedly, the rioters brutally hacked and killed an aging Hindu man named Gajen Sarkar; they then proceeded to ransack his house and set it ablaze. Two Hindu youths named Ujjal Sarkar and Sujan Sarkar were also ferociously assaulted with rods and sticks. They eventually lost consciousness, and the attackers left, assuming they were dead. This is how they escaped being slaughtered by the Muslim butchers. The storming crowd also attacked many others with sharp weapons, leaving the victims with deep wounds across their heads and bodies.
The Gorta village is home to 400 Hindu families. It is believed that the attack was planned to drive out all these Hindus from their ancestral land, much like what Muslims did in Kashmir, India, some three decades ago. The assailants finally left the area, warning the Hindus to evacuate the village within one month. The injured were admitted to a nearby hospital and were undergoing treatment, according to the most recent available reports.
People of the minority community are in a panic. They fear that jihadists may repeat the violence and bloodshed at any time. The affected families have requested adequate security measures and immediate police action. How many of their demands have been met is left for us to guess.
The persecution of Hindus in Islamic Bangladesh has reached its apex under the massive influence of the jihad groups that aspire to make the country into an absolute Sharia state and have no compunction about violating all human rights of non-Muslims in order to do so. These Muslims have been emboldened by the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and are hoping to establish similar Islamic rule in Bangladesh by overthrowing the country’s constitution. Social media channels have often become a medium for spreading the Islamic propaganda of jihad groups, and such posts seldom get taken down for violating the platform’s community standards.
Reports suggest that around 154 members of religious minorities were killed in Bangladesh in the year 2022. Sexual violence against women has also risen drastically. Thirty-nine women have been reported raped, while twenty-seven victims have been gang-raped. At least fourteen were executed after rape. We can only speculate about how many such gory cases have gone unreported.