10 years of Ramu attacks, trial still stalled

Published : 29 Sep 2022 08:55 PM

It has been 10 years since the incident of attack, looting and arson at Ramur Buddhist monastery and settlement in Cox's Bazar due to rumors spread through Facebook. Miscreants attacked 12 Buddhist monasteries and settlements on the night of April 29, 2012 in Ramu, once a city of communal harmony. But now people of all religions are in harmony. The prosecution of the incident is stalled due to the testimony of the witnesses. The Buddhist community demands that the harmony of the people of all communities should be intact after the investigation of the incident and bringing those involved under punishment. A special commemoration meeting will be organized in the morning today (Thursday) at Cherangatta Maitri Vihar Upasanala in Ramur on the occasion of the day of this unpleasant attack. Buddhist community leader Nitish Badua said that peace will be sought for all in religious worship.

It is known that on September 29, 2012, a Buddhist youth named Uttam Baruah posted a photo of insulting the Holy Qur'an on Facebook. A terrible incident took place in Ramu. Miscreants attacked, looted and set fire to 12 Buddhist monasteries, 30 residences in Ramu in the dark of night. On the night of September 30, 7 more Buddhist monasteries and 11 residences were attacked and set on fire in Ukhia and Teknaf. After the incident, the government rebuilt the damaged buildings and houses with new crafts. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated these beautifully built Buddhist temples under government patronage on September 3, 2013.

Advocate Faridul Alam, the government strategist of the District Court, said that although 19 cases were filed in the incident, one case was settled through compromise. 19 cases were filed against 14/15 hundred unidentified persons including 378 accused persons. Later, the police submitted a charge sheet against 1020 people in 18 cases. 

The people of the Buddhist community say that after 10 years of the incident, the people involved in these incidents should be punished and the harmony of the people of all communities should remain intact.

Joint General Secretary of Ramu Buddh Kalyan Oikya Parishad, Palak Baruya Appu, said that the monitoring cell of the Ministry of Home Affairs has been formed to ensure speedy punishment of the masterminds of Buddhpalli TAJD, but due to witnesses, the final progress of the case has not been made even in the last 10 years. 

However, even if there is dissatisfaction with the judiciary, the crisis of confidence in harmony has largely passed. If the government ends the speedy trial process on its own initiative, no one will have the courage to commit such crimes in the future. Advocate Bappi Sharma, Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Lawyers Oikya Parishad Cox's Bazar district branch, said that Ramu's millennial pride in the Buddhpalli tragedy has cut the crisis of confidence that was created in 'communal harmony'. We hope that if the real criminals are brought to justice, the place of reconciliation will be enriched. Thanks to Hon'ble Prime Minister - for removing the wound by installing Drishtinandan Cang in a timely manner. Police Superintendent of Cox's Bazar. Mahfuzul Islam PP M bar said that police have arrested more than five hundred defendants in total 18 cases and brought them under the law. Efforts are on to bring the accused who are absconding to justice.

Ramu Seema Vihar's resident monk Sil Priya said that the people of the Buddhist community are still in fear because the justice work has not been completed. We want those involved in this incident to be found and brought to exemplary punishment. The government should also ensure that no innocent people are punished.

District Buddhist Unity Council President Master Jameson Barua said, We want those involved in the Nekka Janak attack to be punished. Witnesses may not testify due to lack of security. This Buddhist leader said to ensure their safety by ensuring their testimony. 10 years have passed since the incident. Due to the length of the proceedings, the initial momentum of the case has waned. Many of the victims did not want to come forward to testify. Everyone feels that everything is fine. Due to which the proceedings of the case are stopped.

Jameson Barua, the leader of the Buddhist community, said, "We hope that the case will be resolved by coordination between the parties and the victim witnesses."

President of Cox's Bazar Buddhist Protection Council, Pragyananda Bhikkhu said, we want a fair trial of the incident. Only a few criminals who are directly involved in the incident are punished, so that no innocent people suffer. We want Ramu to maintain its traditional communal harmony. Because if these criminals are not prosecuted, more such incidents will happen in Bangladesh.

There were 19 cases in that incident. Among them, the police filed 18 cases as plaintiffs. A person from the Buddhist community filed another case as a plaintiff, but later it was settled in a compromise with the defendants. Due to non-appearance of witnesses in court in 18 pending cases, the trial process has been delayed. However, through the presentation of witnesses, arrangements will be made to settle all the cases and ensure the justice of the concerned criminals, said advocate Faridul Alam. 

He said there are some errors in the charge sheet of 18 cases. Three of these cases have been sent for re-investigation.

Everyone is talking about being vigilant so that there is no more violence by using information technology including social media Facebook.