Three Baul singers attacked with iron rods in Bangladesh

Dhaka: Three elderly Baul singers, including two women, were attacked with iron rods by unidentified miscreants in a village in Bangladesh's Chuadanga district early on Sunday, said the police. The three elderly Sufi singers were critically injured and were being treated at a local hospital, reported. The victims have been identified as Abdur Rahim, 65, his wife Bulu Begum, 50, and a 45-year-old woman Rashida Khatun. The couple hails from Kushtia district in western Bangladesh, while the woman is from Jhenaidah, in the south-western part of the country. They had come to the village to join a congregation of Bauls. The victim Bulu Begum told reporters that seven-to-eight men barged into the Akhara (place where Bauls stay) and started beating them with iron rods.  "Bauls from different areas come to this Akhara. We also went there," she said, adding that they could not identify the attackers. The three were in critical state, Anisur Rahman, a doctor of Chuadanga Sadar Hospital, told The Daily Star. Jibannagar Police Station Officer-in-Charge Humayun Kabir said he had sent police force to investigate the incident. All of the victims sustained injuries inflicted by iron rods, said Resident Physician Masud Rana. "We have found some slash wounds on Rahim’s head, while Rashida has injuries on the face and leg," he said, adding that the third victim had been referred to Rajshahi as her leg injuries seemed grievous. "Marijuana smokers often gather at that place. We have sent a team after being informed. It’s being probed," local police officer-in-charge Humayun Kabir told bdnews24. Besides, another Baul, namely Box Mandal, remained missing after the attack, the Dhaka Tribune reported. Witnesses said a gang of about 12 miscreants equipped with indigenous weapons swooped on the sleeping Bauls and attacked them indiscriminately. The miscreants fled the scene when the villagers rushed there after hearing the screams of the victims.