Friday, November 4, 2016

Hundreds attack Hindu homes, temples in Bangladesh

NEW DELHI: Hundreds of Muslims in eastern Bangladesh angry about a social media post launched a wave of attacks against Hindu temples and homes in a rare convulsion of communal violence in the region, Bangladeshi police said Monday. Police arrested 15 people suspected of taking part in the violence, which erupted over a social media post depicting the Hindu deity Shiva over a picture of the Kaaba in Makkah that is considered one of the holiest places in Islam.

As news of the post spread through neighborhoods in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, hundreds of people rampaged for two hours Sunday through Hindu communities east of Dhaka, the capital, said senior regional police officer Abdul Karim. 
Police said 100 homes and five Hindu temples were looted. Some rioters apprehended a 27-year-old man they suspected of posting the offensive picture, but police have yet to determine if he posted it. “We are working on it,” Karim said.

Police reinforcements and members of Bangladesh’s paramilitary border guard have been deployed in the area, around 150 kilometers (94 miles) east of Dhaka. Such cases of vandalism and civic unrest between religious communities in Bangladesh are considered uncommon, though the country is struggling to stem a wave of violence by radical Islamist militants targeting religious minorities and atheists.

Miscreants set fire to six dwelling structures of the Hindu community in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria early today, escalating tension further in the trouble-hit upazila. The incident took place four days after the attacks on temples, houses and business establishments of the Hindu community in the upazila. Locals said miscreants set fire to the cowshed of Phul Kishore Sarkar, three kitchen rooms of Mrinal Kanti Sarkar and Amar Deb, an abandoned house of Santu Kabiraj and a house of Sagar Das around 4:00am. On information, Nasirnagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Chowdhury Moazzem Ahmed and local leaders of Awami League visited the spot this morning.

On October 30, a group of religious zealots carried out a synchronised attack on the Hindus, vandalising around 100 homes and temples and looting their valuables, including cash, gold ornaments and idols, television and mobile phones. The two-hour mayhem followed a Facebook post from the account of a local fisherman, “hurting the religious sentiment” of the Muslims. Two cases were later filed against 1,200 unnamed people with the local police station in connection with the incident.

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