In the recent attack on a Hindu village in Sunamgan district of Bangladesh, dozens of homes and several temples were destroyed by thousands of supporters of the Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam in response to criticism of the group’s leader.

HAF Director of Human Rights Deepali Kulkarni offered the following statement on the attacks:

“This incident is the latest example of mob violence and lack of government protection of Hindu communities in Bangladesh. It is past time for the Bangladesh government to take a stand against extremism and protect its religious minorities.”

The attack comes just days before the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Bengali Hindu genocide, carried out by the Pakistan army during the Bangladesh War of Independence. During the targeted attacks, between 2-3 million people were systematically killed and 200,000-400,000 women and girls raped, with some 10 million people forced to flee to India. The majority of the victims were Hindus.

Learn more: 1971 Bengali Hindu Genocide Project