Engaging Local Government to Create Resilience Against Violent Extremism (PVE)

Rangpur region, usually known for its peaceful setting and environment, has been rattled, in the recent past by some unprecedented incidents. Dinajpur district witnessed several VE incidents in the recent past, which includes the Kali temple attack at Fultala, Harijan Palli attack at Bochagonj, bomb attack at ISKCON temple in Kaharol and bomb/explosive attack at Kantaji Mandir. There were also incidents of gun shots targeting Hindu and Italian Christian priests. A Japanese philanthropist was brutally killed in Rangpur. On 10th November of 2017, a Hindu village in Sadar Upazila was attacked by an aggressive mob of approximately 20,000 peoples due to a controversial Facebook post defaming Prophet Muhammad. They damaged infrastructure, looted valuables and set fire on Hindu residents. These types of incidents spoil the communal and social harmony and creates more vulnerability towards VE.

JSKS, a Dinajpur based NGO implemented a pilot project under USAID’s Obirodh: Road to Tolerance Program in which, they engaged selected standing committees of local government elected bodies to create resilience against VE in the region. JSKS provided day long PVE orientation; community dialogues where duty bearers from the Upazila and District administration and Police administration facilitated interaction with community people and exchanged their views on C/PVE issues. JSKS also organized roundtable dialogue with the Divisional Commissioner-GoB. where they shared lesson-learned and disseminated the best practices to undertake further steps to furnish tolerance in the community. In light of the pilot project experiences, this proposed project intends to work with different local government authorities in Dinajpur and Rangpur districts to create resilience in the rural and semi-urban communities through different community engagement events in order to prevent violent extremism in the region.

The project covered in Dinajpur and Rangpur district under Rangpur Division and duration is July 2018 to December 2019 through Phase I & II Project and funded by the Management Systems International, Obirodh-Road to Tolerance Program of USAID.