Media Silent in Face of New Anti-Hindu Attacks, Foundation Alleges
Washington, D.C. (September 23, 2010) - On September 6, the town of Deganga, about 30 miles from the capital city of Kolkata (Calcutta) in the Communist-ruled Indian state of West Bengal, witnessed a campaign of attacks against Hindus by local Muslim groups. Goaded by a local Member of Parliament that is a known Islamist, Haji Nurul Islam, rampaging Muslim residents of the town ransacked and looted Hindu homes and businesses, desecrated temples, seriously assaulted scores of Hindus and torched four city buses. The violence continued for several days until the Indian Army and State forces were called in to defuse the situation.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), that publishes an annual human rights report detailing atrocities against Hindu minorities in several nations, alleged that reports from the region clearly indicate that illegal immigration from Bangladesh inflamed the tension there. Illegal migrants are importing the radical Islamist ideology from Bangladesh and causing serious demographic change. Foundation leaders were shocked that except for one major English language newspaper in India which provided details about rampage, other newspapers merely reported that curfew was clamped on the town and that the army staged a flag march to bring order in the area. No human rights observers have visited the site, and none have issued a condemnation.
“Hindus are a persecuted minority in Bangladesh, and we simply cannot allow the same disease to affect India,” said Prof. Ramesh Rao, HAF's Human Rights Coordinator. “It is a sad commentary on the nature and dispensation of the Indian state and media that they ignore an ongoing human rights disaster within its borders, for only the glare of a fair and free media can give voice to the dispossessed Hindus of Deganga.”
The violent campaign began on the eve of the widely celebrated Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival celebrating the Mother Goddess. As Hindus commenced construction of some temporary structures, local Muslims began digging a canal across the only path providing access to the temple from the main road -- a path Muslims claimed to allegedly block the entry to a Muslim burial ground.