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Hindu homes attacked in Bangladesh over rumours

Indian security forces (Photo by Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

DHAKA, Nov 2, 2020, PTI. The houses of several Hindu families have been vandalised and burned by radical Islamists in Bangladesh’s Comilla district over rumours about an alleged Facebook post slandering Islam, according to a media report on Monday, The Hindu reported.

The households were vandalised and later set on fire on Sunday after a Bangladeshi man, who lives in France, allegedly praised President Emmanuel Macron for taking steps against inhumane ideologies after a teacher in Paris was decapitated for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, bdnews24.com reported.

The headmaster of a kindergarten school in Purbo Dhour welcomed Mr. Macron’s action in a comment on the post. As the rumours about the Facebook post spread, tension mounted in the area on Saturday, the report said.

The police arrested two people on charges of hurting the religious sentiments on Sunday, the report quoted Qamruzzaman Talukder, Officer-in-Charge of Bangra Bazar Police Station, as saying.

They include the headmaster of the kindergarten. The other person is a resident of nearby Andikot village.

The situation is under control now, Md Abul Fazal Mir, deputy commissioner of Cumilla district, told bdnews24.com after visiting the area. Syed Nurul Islam, Superintendent of Police, has also visited the scene.

The deputy commissioner said the locals carried out arson attacks on homes, including those of the two arrestees. Asked what measures the authorities have taken against the attackers, Mr. Mir said the administration has swung into action.

Mr. Qamruzzaman said the process to file a case over the attack was underway. The police will watch videos to identify the attackers, he added.

Demonstrations against France over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad have been taking place in different Muslim-majority countries for some days.

Bangladeshi authorities have deployed four platoons of police in Kurbanpur and Andikot villages to keep the situation under control.

The police launched a case under the Digital Security Act against the headmaster and the other arrestee.

A court denied bail and sent them to jail pending trial when the police produced them before it late on Sunday afternoon.

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