WASHINGTON DC: The Biden Administration is urged to condemn the escalating violence against Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Over the last six months, violence targeting the Hindu religious minority communities in Bangladesh and Pakistan has escalated significantly.
More than a dozen Hindu & Christian teenage girls kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam; Hindu journalist who reported it is assassinated in Pakistan; three waves of anti-Hindu mob violence in Bangladesh have left several dead in the last six months.
The fate of religious minorities in Bangladesh and Pakistan has been growing dangerously perilous over the last decade, and with the COVID-19 pandemic it has reached a new low point where the State and non-State actors can commit violence against Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and others with even greater impunity, Indian Americans maintain here.
The Biden Administration is urged to swiftly condemn this violence before there is further bloodshed, and to relay to the Bangladeshi authorities that radical Islamist groups like Hefazat e-Islami (HeI) must be shut down
Last November, the US State Department was alerted after a 3,000 person strong mob of HeI radicals attacked a Hindu village destroying over a dozen homes and four Hindu temples. Then, days before the world commemorated March 25th as the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Bengali Genocide, a second wave of violence led by the same Islamist group attacked another Hindu village destroying 70-80 homes and a temple.
In Pakistan’s Sindh province the lives of Hindu and Christian girls are in daily jeopardy as nearly 1,000 girls are kidnapped, converted to Islam, and married off as child brides to their much older male kidnappers every year, all with the approval of the government of Pakistan.
“A 13-year-old Hindu girl named Kavita Bai was allegedly kidnapped by a man of Bahalkani tribe, forcibly converted to Islam by Barelvi cleric MianMithoo, and then married off to her abductor. A video of the conversion ceremony has also gone viral on social media,” India Today reported on March 11, 2021.
One week later, on March 18, 2021, Ajay Lalwani, a Hindu journalist from Sindh who had reported on the rampant corruption and female kidnappings, was murdered while waiting in line to get a haircut.
Sharing these and other concerns of the Indian American community, it was averred in meetings with State Department officials recently. Days aftermeeting with the US State Department, a third wave of anti-Hindu mass violence erupted in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
“USCIRF condemns the attacks on Hindu temples in #Bangladesh. USCIRF urges the government to protect houses of worship and ensure that religious minorities feel safe to practice their faith,” the US Commission on International Religious Freedom tweeted on March 29, 2021.
It is imperative that t he US State Department needs to designate Bangladesh as a “Country of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act in its upcoming 2021 report.
Meanwhile a spate of anti-Asianviolence in this country has been a disturbing factor too and this is brought to the attention of the authority by a spate of organizations including South Asians for Biden.
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