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Rumors spread on Facebook, Hindu house set on fire in Bangladesh, 5 people imprisoned

Easterntimes, Special Correspondent, Dhaka: Angry locals have vandalised and burned several homes of Hindu people over rumours about an alleged Facebook post slandering Islam in Cumilla’s Muradnagar.

The police arrested 5 people on charges of hurting religious sentiments on Sunday, said Qamruzzaman Talukder, OC of Bangra Bazar Police Station.

They include the headmaster of a kindergarten school in Purbo Dhour. 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 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 three homes, including those of the two arrestees.

The other home that was torched belongs to Professor Banakumar Shib, the chairman of Purbo Dhour (East) union council.

Asked what measures the authorities have taken against the attackers, the DC said the administration has swung into action.

OC 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 quite some days.

A Bangladeshi from Kurbanpur village in Muradngar who now lives in France praised French President Emmanuel Macron for taking steps against “inhumane ideologies”.

The school headmaster welcomed Macron’s action in a comment on the post.

But a screenshot of the post and comment spread on social media with the claim that the headmaster supported caricatures of the prophet, according to Abul Khayer, a resident of the village.

As the rumours about the Facebook post spread further, tension mounted in the area on Saturday.

Finally, the angry Muslims launched the attack on Sunday afternoon after the police arrested the five.

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

The police started 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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Eastern Times

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