15 temples vandalised, Hindus looted in Bangla

Thursday 03rd November 2016 06:25 EDT

DHAKA: At least 15 Hindu temples in Bangladesh were vandalised following allegations of disrespect shown to Islam on Facebook. The incident triggered massive panic among the minority community in the Muslim-dominated region. Paramilitary Borders Guards Bangladesh were deployed in Nasirnagar, and Madhabpur Upazila headquarters, along with the Rapid Action Battalion, police and Armed Police Battalion.

Temples in Brahmanbarhia district's Nasirnagar were vandalised, and 100 houses belonging to Hindus in the area were looted. The mayhem that continued for hours, also saw two temples in Habiganj's Madhabpur come under attack, as per eyewitnesses. The violent attacks that left over 100 people hurt, were in response to a Facebook post that mocked one of Islam's holiest sites. The post showed a Hindu deity over a picture of the Kaaba, a large cube-shaped building in Mecca. While rioters tried to apprehend a 27 year old man they suspected of putting the picture online, the police said they are yet to determine if he posted it.

Nine men have been arrested in connection with the incident, including a 30 year old Hindu who authorities plan on charging with "breaching internet laws." Hindu leader Rana Dasgupta said, "We are tired of such repeated incidents. It is very unfortunate that none of the culprits of previous attacks are brought to justice." Nasirnagar Upazila Parishad Vice-Chairman Anjan Deb said, "The situation is apparently calm now but the Hindu community is still panicked."

Madrasa students protested on the premises of the Brahmanbarhia Press Club, while hundreds of people blocked Sarail-Nasirnagar-Lakhai road, where they torched tyres. The demonstrators, armed with local weapons, vandalised the temples at Duttubarhi, Namashudraparha and Ghoshparha, and Jagannath Temple and Goura Temple. Several priests were injured in the bid.

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