Date: 2/2/2003



..................By: Narain Kataria

A delegation comprising of Jiten Roy, Ph.D., President, and Bidyut Sarkar, General Secretary, respectively, of International Federation of Bangladeshi Hindus & Friends, Mohini Sarin, a Human Rights Activist, Dr. Narinder Kukar, former National President of the Association of Indians in America and N. Kataria, Founder of Indian American Intellectuals Forum, called on Deputy Ambassador, Indian Mission, Mr. A. Gopinathan, at New York on January 20, and presented to him a memorandum documenting the pitiable plight of Hindus who are being subjected to relentless torture, ghastly murder, gang rape and forcible conversion to Islam. The memorandum urged the Indian Mission at U.N. to take up this matter seriously with the Government of India and find a permanent solution to the state sponsored campaign aimed at ethnic-cleansing of Hindus in Bangladesh.

The memorandum, inter alia, stated that Bangladesh, where 11,000 of its 64, 000 madrassas are constantly producing jihadis, "has become a safe haven for Islamic terrorists - - including Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters fresh off the boat from Afghanistan." (The Time Asia Magazine Oct. 16, '02; Far Eastern Economic Review (April 4,2002); The Wall Street Journal April 2'02); Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism/US Department of State, May 21, 2002; Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001: Bangladesh, March 2002) Time Asia Magazine, CNNews (Dec. 21, '01) New York Times (Nov. 27, '01) etc.

In the past one and half years, ever since the ruling coalition of "Islamic hardliners" (The Guardian, Oct. 2, '01) assumed power with an absolute majority, the Islamic extremists have gained enormous strength demonstrating that they are capable of enacting several Balies, if not 9/11s.

Earlier, using the Babri Mosque incident as a ploy to teach Hindus a befitting lesson, Jehadis had killed 15 Hindus, raped 2600 Hindu women, razed 3,600 temples and rendered 200,000 Hindus homeless. Militant Islamists have looted, razed and in many cases set ablaze dwelling houses, businesses, temples, imposed infidel protection tax, gang/mass raped [e.g. nearly 200 Hindu women were mass raped by the Muslims in Char Fashion in a single night (The Daily Star, Nov 16, 2001); mother and eight-year-old daughter were gang-raped together subjecting the helpless father/husband to watch such ghastly scene], brutally tortured, murdered, and left with the ultimatum:" Go to India, where you rightly belong." Incidents of rape remain generally underreported because of the stigma attached to it, yet among the 228 rape cases reported within the day of election 225 or 98.68 % of the rape victims were Hindus and the perpetrators belonged to the ruling parties (see, e.g., The Daily Janakantha, Feb. 17, '02). When the victims of rape approach the police station to press charges against the gang of rapists, the commanding officers not only refuse to accept their cases but in some cases also persecute the victim by detaining them in the precinct lockup (see, e.g., The Daily Janakantha, Feb. 17, '2).

As a result of the above-mentioned systematic persecution, Hindu population in Bangladesh has decreased from 35% in 1947 to 10% in 2003

Hence, the Hindus of Bangladesh have no other alternative but to demand a permanent solution of this problem, by creating a protected region. If the Bosnian Muslims. East Timorese Christians, Srilankan Tamils, Iraqi Kurds deserve international attention, the Bangladeshi Hindus, 25 million of whose people have been driven out of the country and 2.5 million acres of whose land confiscated, deserve help find a permanent solution to their problem, too. Such a solution can never be achieved unless India intervenes, like it did in 1971.