At that time, DUTA joint secretary and DU assistant proctor Abdur Rahim spoke about the observations of the teachers’ association.
Abdur Rahim said, “During the visit, we exchanged views with local general people, educationists, religious leaders, local businessmen, administration, peoples’ representatives, journalists and people of different walks of life. All of them said no large scale act of communal violence broke out in Noakhali since 1946. The local administration apprehended that such communal violence could break out. That’s why the idols were immersed by 11:00am to 11:30am on the day of Bijoya Dashami as per the requests of local administration.”
What happened, the administration, at least the executive has totally failed
He further said the people of Hindu community returned home after immersing the idols. But after the Jumma prayers, a section of devotees brought out a procession without taking part in the munajat and chanted instigating slogans. The processions were brought out from several mosques at a time. According to video footage found from local people, young adult madrasah students took part in the processions, he added.
Abdur Rahim further said police, RAB and BGB members remained mostly inactive during the attacks carried out for long. Temples, ashrams and businesses were looted and vandalised during the attack. Different objects, documents, religious texts and posters of religious people were damaged and burnt.
DUTA, in its observations also said, “Most of the attackers in Noakhali were young adult madrasah students. Many people said the madrasah students told that their way to heaven would be easier for attacking the Hindu community people and for vandalising the idols. They were not educated with humane values, instead they were given one-way education. It seemed to the visiting delegation that a third party has taken the advantage of grouping in local politics.”
The DUTA said other areas of the country could be victims of such attacks if the government does not take action through intensive investigation of the incidents of communal violence. “This is not a one-off incident, rather this was a planned incident. The incident of grouping in local politics resurfaced time and again in the observations of the teachers’ association. The association thinks it is not possible for the administration to control such mob at a local level without the help of the common people. That’s why public opinion has to be mobilised by constituting regional committees of different bodies. The government needs to coordinate political and administrative decisions immediately to stop repetition of such incidents.”
Addressing the human chain, DU vice chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman said, “We condemn the communal attacks in Noakhali, Cumilla and other parts of the country. Historically and traditionally, Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony. People of different communities share the festivals alongside observing their religions.”
The DU vice chancellor also called on for strong preventive measures against communalism at the grassroots level. He said, “Protests in Dhaka have a value but protests and preventive actions have to be taken in the areas of the incidents. The non-communal people in the areas should play a vital role.”
Convener of the pro-Awami League teachers’ body and science faculty acting dean Md Abdus Samad said, “No words are enough to condemn of the inhuman and violent incidents took place in the last few days. In some cases, we see the government depends of administration. But this dependency cannot help people in every sphere. Mo one would be able to muster up the courage to carry out such violent incidents if the Awami leadership remained united and active in different parts of the country today.”
Former acting president of BNP-Jamaat supporting teachers’ body Md Lutfor Rahman said, “What happened in Cumilla is a religious issue. The Holy Quran was used there. A very important question is who placed the Holy Quran at the puja mandap when and how. That incident was followed by some more incidents. Perpetrators must be brought to book after investigation of how the Cumilla incident took place and how did it spread around the country. We don’t want to see the repetition of such incident in the future. If necessary, we will build a social movement across the country to prevent such incidents.”
DUTA president Md Rahmat Ullah presided over the human chain.
He said what happened in the last few days is nothing but an ill omen. There are demons among the saviours. What happened, the administration, at least the executive has totally failed. What took place in 15 districts of the country over a certain incident, this makes us extremely concerned. The administration has not taken any step to investigate the incidents, the debris is still there, he added.
Rahmat Ullah demanded exemplary punishment of those involved with the incidents.
Students of the Theatre and Performance Studies of Dhaka University staged an anti-violence drama at the base of Aparajeyo Bangla after the human chain.