Investigation Report | Ramu Village Attack | September/October 2012 »
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Victims                   Bangladeshi Citizens belonging to the Buddhist and Hindu communities.

                                 Ethnical status : Religious Minority

Place                  Ramu Upazilla, Cox’s Bazaar District - 

                           Ramu has a population of 16,7480  (1991 Bangladesh Census) .

                           It consists of 9 union parishads, 39 mouzas and 102 villages

Type of Violation    Rights to life, Right to Religion, Rights to personal integrity.


Background

An image depicting the desecration of a Quran was linked to Uttam Kumar Barua’s Facebook profile by an Abdul Moktadir alias Alif, student of a private polytechnic institute in Chittagong*. Uttam Kumar Barua, a resident of Ramu in Cox’s Bazar District and an employee of the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries, happened to be a Buddhist by faith. Some local residents took offence to the incident and staged processions and demonstrations in Ramu in the afternoon and evening of 29 September. There was also a ruling party held by ruling party activists at 29th SeptemberA procession was organized by Local Awami league leaders. The OC was also there. Daily star reported that a youth group comprising of local leaders from pro-Awami League, BNP political party men, madrasa students and common people were present.There is ongoing political blaming of Government and opposition parties.

Chronological History

Text in Italics from ASK Investigation Report  conducted at Location

Saturday 29 September 2012        

    6.00pm         A few photo’s in facebook by a group called ‘’Insult Allah’’ which was alleged to be insulting muslims were shown to a few locals in Omar Faruk’s mobile and computer shop.

                          (They were atttributed to a young Buddhist man, Uttam Barua had allegedly been tagged)

                           A procession had started and anti Uttam/Buddhist slogans could be heard, the increasing crowd was seen to pass through the front road of Ramu Central Shima Bihar.  

                          Non local and unidentified people entered by motorbike and Jeep.

                          Participants of the procession were seen to throw bricks and other substances into the temple.

    7.00pm        Tension at Chaumohoni after circulation of facebook picture.

   7.30pm         Carpenter Nidarshan Barua, standing at Chaumohoni station, saw a group of people making speeches, the crowd grew from thousands to ‘’six thousand strong’’ in his estimation.

   8.00pm        Police came to shop, took Omar Faruk to police station, detained until 12.30, no officer spoke to him.

   9.30pm        50/60 youths in procession shouted anti Uttam/Buddhist slogans near UZ roundabout, few policemen watch and don’t do anything.

                           Bangladesh Chatra League, student wing of government.

                          Leader,  Saddam of Mandalpara leads procession to  Baruapara

              

                        Police detain mother and aunt of Uttam Barua.

 

                        20-25 people attack Barua’s home. Muslim neighbours resist.

 

11-11.30pm    Thousand strong armed mob appear in trucks, pick ups, CNGs and set fire to 4 temples in Srikul – Lalching, Sadaching, Moticial Bihar                          

                          Monks take refuge with Muslim neighbours.

                          6 young muslim men defended the Chandraghat bihar (Chittagong).

                          In total, thirteen temples had been torched in Ramu

                           Police were present but inactive.

12.30am          Mob torch a 250-year-old Buddhist temple on Cheranghata road and then set ablaze the Borokang Bouddha Bihar and Kendriya Shima Bihar.

  1.00am          Subir Barua, elected member of  Fatekar Kul Union was in hiding near the Sima Bihar, he saw two separate processions approaching from the eastern and southern side of the monastery.

   2.00am          Authorities declared Section 144 in Ramu.    

7 temples, including Saada Ching, Laal Ching, Sima Bihar, Maitree Bihar Meronglowa Sima Bihar and Cherenghata Buddhist Temple were burnt to ashes. 13 Buddhist monasteries in  total and one Hindu temple were burnt down.  At least 10 Buddhist villages including Srikool, Merongloua, Cerenghata, Ukhiyear Ghona, North Fatekharkhool, Jadipara and Askarkata under Johariana union were attacked, 30 houses, was burned and 100 +  structures were damaged in Purbo Merongloa.

     

   4.00am         Fire service arrived at the scene.

Sunday 30 September 2012             

Section 144 stays in place to contain the violence which continued over night.

9-10.00am       Hundred of people arrived at West Moricha Dipankur Buddhist Bihar with sticks.

                          Bricks were thrown on the roof of the temple.

                          Vandalism started at the temple.

                          Two valuable statues of rare Kosti stone were stolen and another three statues were destroyed.

                          No law enforcement officers were present.

                          A mob attacked Buddhist temple Maricha in Ukhiya thana in the morning but police and members of the BGB thwarted them. In the afternoon, another Buddhist temple was also attacked at Rajapalang in Ukhia.

                           Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples were attacked in Ukhia Upazila in Cox’s Bazar District. Two more Buddhist monasteries were burnt in Ukhiya early on Monday. At Marichya, the Dipankar Bouddha Bihar was torched while at Khairatipara the Pangyamitra Bouddha Bihar was also torched. By Monday, a total of six monasteries and temples has been damaged in Ukhia.The fanatics also burnt the Matri Mandir Hindu temple in Jelepara.

12:15pm          500 workers of ship-building company Western Marine launched the attack on the Kolagaon Ratnankur Bouddha Bihar, Lakhera Abhoy Bouddha Bihar and Kolagaon Nabarun Sangha Durgabari.

                          Aminur Rashid, Patiya’s police chief, said the workers of Western Marine came out from the factory after breaking open the collapsible gate and started vandalising the nearby temples. He said they damaged 16 idols in the Ratnankur Bihar, from where they also took away a small golden idol and donation box.

                           In the afternoon, another Buddhist temple was also attacked                   

                           Rajapalang in Ukhia 

 

1.30 pm           Mob return to Charampara and attack a wooden monastery.

                          They set Sima Bihar on Fire.

2.30pm            Angerbagsha Buddha Bihar set on fire, 1 km away from Sima     

Tuesday 2 October 2012

PM                    Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suspected to be involved in the attacks. On Tuesday afternoon, 2nd October, three Rohingyas were arrested by the police in Chakaria Upazila of Cox’s Bazar District while they were trying to attack a Buddhist monastery in Manikpur   

 

References

ASK Documentation Unit

Destroyed Temples




Totally destroyed temples


S.L.


Name of the Temple


Address of the Temple


1.        


Ramu Sima Bihar


Merongloa Baruapara, Fotaekarkul


2.        


Ramu Cherangata Lalchit


Cherangata, Fotaekarkul


3.        


Ramu Cherangata Sadachit


Cherangata, Fotaekarkul


4.        


Ramu Moittry Bihar


Cherangata, Fotaekarkul


5.        


Bimukti Bidorshan Vabna Center


North Mithasori, Joarianala


6.        


Arjobonsho Buddhist Bihar


Lot Ukhirkhona, Kourkhop


7.        


Ajanta Buddhist Temple


Oard-5, Chakmarkul


Reference: based on information given by victims.

 



Partially destroyed temples


S.L.


Name of the Temple


Address of the Temple


1.        


Diponkor Buddhist Temple


Dhopalong, Khoniapalong


2.        


Ukhirkhona Buddhist Temple


Ukhirkhona, Kourkhop


3.        


We Chai Chen Rakhin Ramu Boro Kang


Chereng, Fotaekarkul


4.        


Ponchamitra Bon Bihar


North Mithasori, Joariarnala


5.        


Jadimura Buddhist Bihar


Rajapalong


6.        


Khoiratipara Buddhist Bihar


Khoiratipara, Rajapalong


7.        


Rajurkul Shodhormo Bikal Bihar


Rajurkul, Rajapalong


8.        


North Borobil Buddhist Bihar


North Borobil, Hadiapalong


9.        


West Ratna Sudorshon Bihar


Ratnapalong


10.    


Oldest Buddhist Mohashoshan and Bodhigan Vabna Center


Kotbazar, Ukhia


11.    


Valukia Kalachad Boijointi Buddhist Bihar


Valukia, Ratnapalong


12.    


Hirar Dip Buddhist Bihar


Morichapalong


13.    


Moricha Banubon Buddhist Bihar


Morichapalong


Reference: based on information given by victims.

 




Destroyed Hindu Temples


S.L.


Name of the Temple


Address of the Temple


1.        


Dhoapalong Hori Temple


Dhoapalong, Khoniapalong

List of Destruction at a Glance



Upojilla


Destroyed Homes


Destroyed Shops


Destroyed Buddhist Temple


Totally


Partially


Totally


Partially


Totally


Partially


Ramu


24


60


1


-


5


7


Ukhia


1


2


4


-


2


4


Technuf


2


25


-


-


-


2


Total


27


77


5


-


7


13

Source : ASK Investigation Report

 

Analysis of Police Action

Police and state military did not take necessary effective rapid action to prevent violence and to protect temples and homes.

 

  •  Why? Is it a question of authority or capability? Why was the process flawed?

  •  There was a system failure with the police, intelligence, RAB and military those were in the area.

  •  After the first incident, when the home minister came to visit, why were preventative measures not taken? How did more attacks take place in that scale?

  •  With the nearest army camp approximately 2-3km away – how did the second day of attacks have room to take place?

  •  Political Statement by local UP chairman at event on the eve of the attacks also lead to provocation.

  •  Perpetrators who participated in looting, arson and setting fire are from different political groups.

Deputy Commisioner of Cox’s Bazaar Transferred- Mohammad Jainul Bari on September 30.

 Bari was earlier transferred to Chittagong, but later made an officer on special duty (OSD) over his alleged inaction during the communal attacks on the Buddhist community in Ramu on September 29.

 Local sources said Jasim, who was additional deputy commissioner in Cox’s Bazar during the mayhem, also did not take any steps to quell the violence.

 http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=254832


Government Action

  • Emergency tents set up for accommodation.
  • Donations given by state.
  • BGB and Military posts stationed On September 30, 2012 officials of the Army and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) visited the place where the confrontation took place.
  • They gave one tent, 25 kilograms rice and Taka 25,000 in cash to every family as primary assistance.


Case 1

Mohammad Mafizuddin, S.I. of Police, Ramu police station lodged F.I.R. at Ramu police station on 30.09.2012 against 11 perpetrators and more 400 to 500 persons.

Case No.41 dated 30.9.12 under section 147/148/149/447/448/380/435/436/295/153-KA/427 of Penal code against 11 known perpetrators and 400 to 500 unknown perpetrators. There are at least 13 (thirteen) cases at Cox’s Bazar District in three Upazilas against 800 perpetrators and out of 800 persons 190 perpetrators have been arrested by police.  Some of them have confessed their guilt before the courts under section 164 of Criminal procedure.


Case 2

Mohammad Kamal Hosssain – S.I. of Police – Ramu Police station lodged F.I.R at Ramu police station on 30.09.2012 against 11 perpetrators along with unknown 400 to   500 perpetrators.

Case No.42 dated 30.09.12 under section 147/148/149/447/448/380/435/436/295/153-KA/427 of Penal code for setting fire and looting on religious place “Mitachari Panchamitra Banabihar” and “Bimukti Bidarshan Bhabna Kendra”.


Case 3

Govinda Sukla Das, S.I. of Police, Ramu police station, Cox’s Bazar for setting fire and looting of religious place “Chakmar Kul Vevekaram Boudha Bihar”

Case No.43 dated 30.09.12 under section 147/148/149/447/448/380/435/436/295/153-KA/427 of penal code


Case 4

A.K. Nojibul Islam –Officer in Charge of Ramu police station being against 42 persons for setting fire and looting of religious places “Chereng ghata Mandir, Lallching Mandir and Ramu Moitri Bihar and attacking on Police on duty.

Case No.1 dated 01.10.12 under section 147/148/149/332/333/307/353 of Penal code

Case 5

Shudangsu Barua of Katalia Para, Rajarkul, Ramu- Cox’s Bazar against 28 perpetrators and 20-25 unknown perpetrators for attacking his house looting valuables worth Taka 5,00,000/- .

Case No.03 dated 02.10.12 under section 147/148/149/447/448/380/427

 

Case 6

A.K. Nojibul Islam, Officer in charge of Ramu police station against Uttam Kumar Barua- a minority victim son of Sudutta Barua of Chrengghata of Ramu P.S.

Case No.39 dated 30.09.2012 under section 295 of Penal code for insulting religion of Islam.

 The O.C. also stated in his F.I.R. that he received verbal information about an insulting photo on  Uttam Kumar Barua’ s facebook page was showing a woman stepping on a Quran. He also seized desktop computer SAMSUNG LCD Model 732NW Monitor and arrested him for the alleged offence.

 On 30 September, an official inquiry committee was constituted. The committee is headed by Nurul Islam, the Additional Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong Division. The committee sat on 1st October and reviewed the reports of the Upazila Nirbahi Officers of the troubled upazilas and the daily newspaper reports.

 

 

227 arrests to pursue   Source : ASP in Cox’s Bazaar – 25th October 2012


November 8, 2012