Temple theft ''pre-planned to create insecurity among Hindus''

Dhaka, Jan 16 (PTI) Bangladeshi Hindus have expressedconcern over the robbery at the Dhakeswari National Templehere last week, saying it was "pre-planned" to createinsecurity and unrest among the minority community in thecountry.

Babul Devnath, the Secretary of Dhaka MetropolitanWorship Committee, said the robbery at Dhakeswari Temple,the most important place of worship for the minority communityin the country, was "pre-planned" to create insecurity andunrest among the Hindus in Bangladesh.

According to the private bdnews24 online, theCommittee, which has its headquarters in the temple, told apress conference in the capital that the robbery on January 7was an attempt to disrupt communal harmony in the area.

According a statement read out by Devnath, the theftwas also to foil the attempt of the government to restore thesecular constitution of 1972. The perpetrators were alsotrying to thwart the war crimes trial and disrupt communalharmony.

The Committee was unhappy with the investigation,alleging that it was proceeding at snail''s pace, the reportsaid.

Known as the ''National Temple'', Dhakeshwari means"Goddess of Dhaka".

Hinduism is the second largest religion in thecountry, constituting nearly 10 per cent of the population.

There are over 12 lakh Hindus in Bangladesh.

Even as there is no statistics available on the Hindupopulation in the capital, the community leaders claim it tobe around 20 per cent of the city''s total population of overone crore.

Worship at the of the state-owned temple was suspendedfor an indefinite period following theft of huge amount ofgold and silver ornaments along with Taka 4.5 lakh. Worshipwill resume on January 17, the report in the Bangladeshionline newspaper said.

The commitee said similar incidents of thefts haveoccurred in other temples across Bangladesh. It was the thirdmajor temple where theft has taken place in less than amonth.

"A theft took place at Baradeswari Kali Temple onDecember 12 and another at Jaykali Temple on December 22. Wedemand proper investigations into all these incidents," he wasquoted as saying in an earlier report.

Inspector General of Police Hassan MahmudKhondker earlier told PTI that "an extensive investigation"was underway.

"They stole the gold and silver ornaments weighingabout 200 bhoris adorned on Goddess Durga, some Taka 4.5 lakhin cash and charity boxes full of uncounted amount of money,"said Dipu Sen of Bangladesh Puja Celebration Committee. PTI

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