A BNP-constituted probe committee has blamed the internal conflicts in the local Awami League for the recent communal attacks on Hindus and their houses, shops and temples at Dighalia village in Narail district.

"Based on our field-level investigation and the statements of the affected families and the local people, our probe body has come to the conclusion that the incident was an outcome of a naked grouping in local Awami League,” said BNP vice chairman and probe committee chief Netai Roy Chowdhury.

Speaking at a press conference on the findings of their investigation into the Narail communal violence at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office on Thursday, he also alleged that the ruling party used to consider minorities as a very easy element to make their narrow political gains. ”That exactly happened in Narail like in other places.”

Earlier on 18 July, the BNP standing committee formed a seven-member probe body, headed by Netai Roy Chowdhury, to look into the communal attacks in Narail on 15 July. The probe team visited the spot on 23 July.

Netai Roy said Narail Awami League president lawyer Subhash Bose visited the victims two/three days after the incident while the local upazila chairman probably did not go to the spot and the administration was apathetic. “So, it’s completely a well-planned communal attack. We went there (Narail) and gathered information from the witnesses, victims and common people.”

Presenting their findings, he said about two to three hundred unruly people entered Sahapara shouting communal slogans suddenly after Maghrib prayers on 15 July and vandalised the houses of the Hindus and their temples.

The BNP leader said the attackers also set the houses and temples on fire and broke idols but police members were seen observing the incident standing idle near the spot.

He said a rebel candidate of the Awami League was elected chairman of the Dighalia Union while the Awami League’s nominated candidate was defeated though 70 per cent of the voters were Hindus. “This’s the apple of discord. It was assumed that the Hindus voted for the rebel candidate. This's the reason behind the attacks.”

Netai said Hindu residents of Digholia village are now living in serious fear and anxiety following the attacks on them.

Speaking at the programme, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the probe report made it clear that the government was responsible for the incident in Narail.

“Whenever the Awami League came to power, repression and communal attacks on the minority communities and the incidents of plundering of their valuables and vandalising of their houses marked a rise. Most of their (Hindu’s) property is grabbed and owned by the leaders and workers of the Awami League," he observed.

The BNP leader alleged the Hindu community members have been evicted from their homes and land, driven out of the country in a planned way by the ruling party men to grab their property. “We think the rights of different communities now can’t be protected for lack of democracy.”

He demanded immediate arrest and action against those involved in the Narail incident. "It is unfortunate that so far we have not seen any exemplary punishment of those involved in these nefarious incidents."