Dhaka, Bangladesh
Victims yet to get justice

Six years of Ramu attack

Victims yet to get justice

COX'S BAZAR, Sept 29: Although six years have elapsed since the gruesome attack on the houses and temples of the Buddhist community in Ramu, Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas, the trial proceedings in anyone of the 19 cases are yet to be completed for lack of evidence and witnesses, reports UNB. Public Prosecutor (PP) of Cox's Bazar District Judges Court Momtaz Uddin said the future of the cases have become uncertain mainly for lack of witnesses. "Most witnesses are members of the Buddhist community who are refusing to give testimony out of fear," he said. On September 29 and 30 in 2012, some miscreants and fanatics carried out the attacks on the houses and temples of the Buddhist community in Ramu, Ukhia and Teknafupazilas following a Facebook post that had undermined the holy Quran. Eleven Buddhist temples and 30 houses of the minority community were vandalised during the violence. The following day, another seven temples and 11 houses of the Buddhist community were also vandalised and torched in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas of Cox's Bazar. Over the attacks, 19 cases were filed with Ramu, Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas, among them eight were filed with Ramu, seven with Ukhia, two with Teknaf and two with Cox's Bazar accusing 995 people. Cox's Bazar District Judges Court inspector Didarul Islam said one case among the 19 filed by Sudhangshu Barua was dismissed through mutual understanding of both sides while the rest of the cases are still under trial. Five cases were handed to the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) for further investigation which submitted charge sheet in three cases in 2016. Didarul Islam said 14 cases are at the stage of recording testimonies and four are being prepared for trial while police so far arrested 426 people in the cases. Meanwhile, Ramu central Buddhist Youth Parishad convener Rajat Barua Riku said all the cases were filed by police and they excluded the names of the real culprits from the charge-sheet. Additional police super Md Iqbal Hossain said if any complaint is logged over giving threat to the witnesses then tough action will be taken.

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