NEW DELHI: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has called on Twitter to clarify why they deleted their Bangladesh chapter account. This arbitrary move by Twitter came nearly a week after the devotees at an ISKCON Temple in Noakhali, Bangladesh, were violently attacked by a mob which left one dead and several others critically injured. Severe damage to property was also reported.
Yudhistir Govinda Das, Director of Communications for ISKCON in India, speaking to the New Indian questioned whether the removal of the account was because of the pressure from the Bangladesh government or Twitter’s headquarters.
We call on Twitter to clarify the reason on why @IskconBDH and @unitycouncilBD are currently unavailable: Yudhistir Govinda Das, ISKCON Communications
— ISKCON (@iskcon) October 19, 2021
Speaking to The New Indian, Das said, “I would like to offer my deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers to the families of the victims affected in Bangladesh violence, where the Hindu community was brutally attacked. In various attacks, Durga Puja pandals and temples were vandalised. The deities were desecrated. The ISKCON temple in Noakhali was also attacked. Two of our community members were brutally killed. One member’s body was found in a pond the next day. This (the incidence of violence) is not something new. It has been happening in Bangladesh for some time now.”
They killed our devotees.@Twitter killed our voice pic.twitter.com/iBSoGpOA1r
— Radharamn Das राधारमण दास (@RadharamnDas) October 20, 2021
The attack has sparked outrage in the international community with protests being held outside the Bangladesh High Commission in Kolkata as well as the national capital.
Former Bangladesh cricket captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza also condemned the attacks against the Hindu community in his country, saying this is “not the red and green we wanted to see”.
This was a recent incident in a string of attacks against the Hindu minority community in Bangladesh during the recently concluded Durga Puja festival. Local media in Bangladesh reported that six were killed in separate attacks, but figures could not be confirmed independently.
“What happened in Bangladesh is very hurtful. No amount of condemnation will be enough. This should have not happened. I request the Bangladesh government to bring all the perpetrators to justice and punish them as severely as possible. This (the violence against Hindus) has been happening before. Had the Bangladesh government taken timely action, then this would not have happened. We want the safety of all our people and be sure that everyone gets justice,” Vrajendra Nandan Das, Director, ISKCON National Communication, told The New Indian.
At least 72 cases have been registered and 475 persons have been arrested in connection with the violence in different parts of Bangladesh.
When The New Indian reached out to the ISKCON society in the national capital, one attendant in ISKCON, Kalkaji, New Delhi said that the perpetrators should be brought to justice while another devotee said that they feel helpless and the governments should take up responsibility and seek a solution.
Official Statement from ISKCON about attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh pic.twitter.com/98uXeLyujw
— ISKCON (@iskcon) October 18, 2021
The Hindu community makes up less than 9% of the total Bangladesh population of over 170 million.
The recent attacks against Hindus in Bangladesh is not a communal issue but a “conspiracy” to malign the country’s image, said Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan adding that investigators were pursuing leads and would soon apprehend the “conspirators”.
Global Kirtan Protest on 23rd October
Coming together in solidarity with ISKCON members and other Hindus in Bangladesh.
Contact your local ISKCON center for location details. pic.twitter.com/fq7ozmBjYi
— ISKCON (@iskcon) October 20, 2021
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has announced that it is planning to hold global protests and a prayer meeting on October 23 for the victims in Bangladesh.