By Tun Kyaw, Cox's Bazaar: Unidentified people burgled a pagoda of its repository of relics containing jewelry and gold ornaments in the last three days. The robbery took place in the biggest of three pagodas located in the village of Nilla near Chodhurypara in the Teknef subdivision of Cox's Bazaar district, Bangladesh, said a Rakhine local.
"When I went to the pagodas I found one of the pagoda's repository of relics broken into by burglars. They started breaking into the pagoda's cave with the Buddha image where food and flowers are offered. The people, who are illegally residing on pagoda land owned by the pagoda trustee, could have been responsible for breaking into the pagoda," he added.
Although local Buddhists complained about the robbery in the pagoda, the local authorities have not come to the pagoda till today in order to investigate and take action against those who involved, said a villager of Nilla.
When contacted by Narinjara News Agency over telephone about the robbery, the vice-chairman of the local sub-divisional administration of Nilla said he did not know about it and put down the telephone.
About six Bangali households intruded and built houses on land owned by the pagoda trustee. They have been selling many kinds of drugs from their residence.
"Not only have they built houses on pagoda land but are selling many kinds of drugs from their homes. However, if we complain to the authorities, we are afraid of their reaction. As a result we don't dare to complain," said a teacher.
The three pagodas were built in ancient times on the hill by the Naff River opposite Burmese territory. The pagodas have become historic with the changes in territory, rules and passage of time.
"They burgled the pagoda and took away the relics. In addition, they intended to destroy the inside of the pagoda. If they had tried to damage the pagoda from outside, people could have seen them easily. So they planned to destroy it from inside,"� said a youth from Chodhurypara village.
There are many pagodas built during ancient times in Bangladesh but some of them have been destroyed and others are threatened with destruction.
Friday, July 10, 2009