Boat capsizing in Bangladesh kills at least 24 Hindu pilgrims – Winnipeg Free Press

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A boat carrying around 100 Hindu pilgrims capsized in a river in northern Bangladesh on Sunday, killing at least 24 people, police said.

The overcrowded boat overturned in the afternoon while returning from a Hindu temple across the Karatoa River in the Boda area of ​​Panchagarh district, the police chief said local SM Sirajul Huda.

Divers and locals recovered at least 24 bodies on Sunday evening, he said, adding that at least 12 women and eight children were among the dead. He said many passengers swam ashore.

In this image made from video, people conduct a search operation in the Karatoa River where an overcrowded boat overturned, in Panchagarh, Bangladesh, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. A boat carrying about 100 Hindu pilgrims has capsized in the river in northern Bangladesh on Sunday, police said. (AP Photo)

It’s not immediately clear how many people are still missing, but Huda said divers continued their search.

Hindus have flocked to the temple where tens of thousands of people gather every year for their biggest religious festival – Durga Puja – next month.

Nearly 8% of Bangladesh’s more than 160 million people are Hindus in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.