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Bangladesh govt to ban Jamaat-e-Islami?

Posted on Mar 06, 10:17PM | IBNS

Dhaka, Mar 6 : The Bangladesh government has said it is considering the demand to ban the Jamaat-e-Islami that has triggered violent protests across the country since Thursday in the aftermath of the death penalty verdict against its leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for the 1971 war crimes.

Speaking on the demand to ban Jamaat, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told media: "The government will definitely consider it."

The violence in Bangladesh has claimed 80 lives so far.

Hindu temples were vandalised and torched by miscreants at Daudkandi Upazila in Comilla district of the country on Wednesday, local media reports said.

"Unknown criminals vandalised the temple and set fire to it at Battala Kalibari in Chapatali village of Mohammadpur East Union in the dead of night," officer-in-charge of Daudkandi Police Station Abul Faysal told The Daily Star.

Bangladesh Opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia earlier condemned the attacks on Hindus allegedly by Jamaat-e-Islami activists in different parts of the country.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief said the government should identify the perpetrators and punish them.

However, she did not mention Jamaat-e-Islami who allegedly attacked Hindus.

"I called upon the administration and law enforcers to stop such attacks on minorities with an iron hand," Khaleda Zia said.

Jamaat is an alliance partner of the main opposition BNP led by Khaleda Zia.

According to reports, houses and temples belonging to Hindu community were attacked in several districts of Bangladesh including Noakhali, Satkhira and Sirajganj last Thursday.

Jamaat earlier issued a press statement urging for communal harmony and denying attacking Hindu or Buddhist temples.

Acting Amir of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Makbul Ahmed in his statement said: "Bangladesh is a land where religious differences are cherished. We proudly uphold religious and communal harmony among our people. Bangladesh Jamaat-E-Islami respects all religions and their people. The Jamaat despises interfering with someone's religious rights."

"Bangladesh Jamaat-E-Islami has absolutely no connection with the criminals that attacked, vandalized, burned or otherwise harmed Hindu, Buddhist, temples or any place of worship belonging to any other faiths," he said.

The two-day general strike called by the Jamaat-e-Islami that ended on Monday had hit normal life in the country.

Violence broke out in the country since Thursday after Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death by a tribunal for several crimes like mass killings, torture, rape and looting and forcible religious conversion during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 when the country attained freedom from Pakistan after a bloody struggle that left countless dead and thousands of women outraged.