ATTACKS ON TEMPLES, HOUSES : Buddhists observe 3rd anniversary

Our Correspondent . Cox’s Bazar

Buddhists observed the third anniversary of setting Buddhists temples and houses on fire at Ramu, Ukhiya and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar expressing their resentment at the government’s failure to hold trial of the cases inside three years of the attacks.
Buddhists observed various programmes, including national and religious flag hoisting, hoisting black flag at half-mast, Buddhist worship, discussion, peace procession and prayers, marking the day.
At a discussion at Lal Ching Buddhist Temple at Ramu, Buddhist leaders demanded inclusion of ‘real perpetrators’ in the charge sheets submitted in the cases and expedite trial of the cases.
Ramu Central Sima Bihar principal Satya Priya Mahathero presided over the discussion.
Addressing the discussion, Sima Bihar vice-principal Proggananda Vikkhu alleged that the government had failed to deal with the cases properly.
He said Buddhists community had submitted lists of the perpetrators, but the police avoided the lists and submitted charge sheets dropping the perpetrators.
Miscreants vandalised Buddhist temples and houses and set them on fire at several villages of Ramu, Cox’s Bazar sadar, Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas in Cox’s Bazar on September 29 and 30, 2012.
Nineteen Buddhist temples were set on fire and vandalised in the attacks apparently triggered by a Facebook posting allegedly defaming the Quran
Mitachari Bemukti Bedarshan Vhabna Kendra principal Karuna Shree Vikkhu and Ramu Ram Court Bonashram Buddhist Bihar principal Joytishen Vikkhu, among others, addressed the discussion.
A peace procession was brought out from Lal Ching Buddhist temple. The procession, led by former adviser to caretaker government Sultana Kamal, paraded through the main road of Ramu upazila headquarters. Hundreds of participants from different communities at Ramu attended at procession.
Nineteen cases were filed by the police and victims with Ramu, Cox’s Bazar sadar, Ukhiya and Teknaf police stations against 959 people for the attacks.
The superintendent of police in Cox’s Bazar, Shymal Kumar Nath, told New Age that police submitted charge sheets after investigation.
At a rally, Buddhist leaders said that a youth, Uttam Kumar Barua, of Cerangghata of Ramu had pasted the purportedly offensive photo on Facebook. They demanded his arrest.
The government, meanwhile, reconstructed all of the damaged temples and houses of Buddhists.

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