Most of the attackers who vandalised Hindu temples and houses were youth, the locals told a team of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) who recently visited the areas affected by the recent communal violence in Cumilla, Chandpur and Noakhali districts.
"In Cumilla, the role of the police was questionable in quelling tension surrounding the puja and protecting the temples," an ASK statement said.
There were Madrasa students present among the attackers who vandalised the temples and looted households with domestic weapons shouting "Naraye Takbir".
ASK leaders cited the locals at a press conference demanding justice, for the recent attacks on Hindu temples and households, and accountability from the authority.
"During the violence, many of the affected areas did not receive timely help from the local administration despite calling the national emergency helpline 999," Abu Ahmed Faijul Kabir, senior coordinator of ASK, said while reading out the written statement.
He also noted that the police left the temple premises shortly after the immersion of idols.
According to ASK representatives visiting the spot, the locals in Choumuhoni of Noakhali allegedly could not contact the local police station officer-in-charge.
ASK put forward a set of proposals to ensure the end of communal violence and swift justice to the victims that include forming a national level work plan at a special session of the parliament.
The plan includes identifying and punishing the perpetrators in a public hearing, taking proper actions against local administrations and law enforcement agencies who failed to provide security to the temples and mandaps.
At least seven people were killed across the country in recent attacks on temples and Hindu communities following a purported incident of demeaning the Holy Quran in Cumilla.
On 13 October, someone left the holy Quran on the lap of an idol at Nanua Dighi puja mandap in Cumilla Sadar. Centering the incident, vested groups carried out provocative and distorted propaganda.
Then they tried to vandalise the idol and threw bricks at the mandap. Later, they carried out attacks and set fire to several other mandaps in the district.
Additional police and BGB members were deployed across the country and police patrols were stepped up. Intelligence surveillance was strengthened to prevent the law and order situation from deteriorating in the wake of the Cumilla incident.