Two Killed, 350 Injured In Anti-Hindy Violence With PM-India
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) _ Two people died today of injuries suffered during three days of anti-Hindu rioting caused by a Hindu-Moslem religious dispute in neighboring India, hospital officials said.
The deaths raised to three the number of people killed in violent confrontations in Dhaka and 12 other Bangladeshi cities. News reports said 350 people have been injured.
Curfews imposed on Wednesday in Dhaka and the southern port of Chittagong were due to be lifted briefly today to allow Moslems to attend sabbath prayers. The two cities were the worst hit by anti-Hindu rampages.
Two of the dead were Moslems, and the third was not identified. All suffered gunshot wounds, but it was not clear who shot them.
The trouble began in Chittagong on Tuesday night following reports that Hindu fundamentalists tried to seize a mosque and replace it with a Hindu temple in the Indian town of Ayodhya. More than 200 people have died in Hindu- Moslem violence in India.
In Bangladesh, an Islamic country with a Hindu minority, newspapers reported hundreds of demonstrators were injured when anti-Hindu gangs clashed with police in Dhaka, Chittagong and Barisal.
Dainik Bangla, a government-owned daily newspaper, said police used steel- tipped batons to disperse 400 Moslems who tried to break into a Hindu temple in Barisal, 75 miles south of Dhaka. At least 50 people were injured.
In Dhaka,the capital, riot police armed with tear gas guns and truncheons wounded about 100 people who tried to ″vandalize and loot Hindu-owned shops and temples,″ said Ittefaq, an independent Bengali-language daily. It said nine people were hospitalized.
In Chittagong, the country’s second largest city, 500 Moslems attacked a Hindu village with knives and homemade bombs Thursday night, witnesses said.
They said 50 people were injured in an attack at Patharganj, and another 50 were injured in anti-Hindu violence in Boalkhali, Anwara and Hathazari.
Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, has a population of 110 million, 88 percent of whom are Moslems. Ten percent are Hindus.
On Thursday, President Hussain Muhammad Ershad called out the army in Dhaka and ordered security forces to take ″tough action against the forces who are trying to disrupt peace and harmony.″ He visited a Hindu temple in Dhaka, which was earlier vandalized by Moslem gangs.