Dhaka: Amid outrage over the incidents of temple vandalism in Bangladesh, a group of assailants vandalized at least 66 homes and torched 20 homes of Hindus in the country on October 17 over an alleged blasphemous social media post.
According to local media reports, the attack took place late at a village in Rangpur district’s Pirgonj Upazila, about 255 km from the capital Dhaka.
A rumor spread in a fishermen neighborhood that a Hindu man in the village had ‘dishonored religion’ in a Facebook post, following which the police rushed to the spot, district’s superintendent of police Mohammad Qamruzzaman told bdnews24.com.
According to the report, the unruly crowd torched 29 residential houses, two kitchens, two barns, and 20 haystacks belonging to 15 different owners in Pirgonj’s Majhipara. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The police have arrested 52 suspects in the case while the search for other suspects is underway.
The attack on the houses of Hindus is the latest in the series of attacks on minority communities in Bangladesh.
Earlier this week, three people were killed in an attack on a Durga Puja pandal near Nanuar Dighi lake in Bangladesh’s Cumilla. Violence erupted after news spread on social media that the Quran was allegedly desecrated at a Durga Puja pandal.
Following Cumilla violence, incidents of vandalism were also reported from temples in Chandpur’s Hajiganj, Chattogram’s Banshkhali, and Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua, the report said.
Last week, a 500-strong mob vandalized an ISKCON temple in Noakhali area and attacked devotees. One devotee was allegedly killed by the mob.
India said it was in contact with the Bangladesh government and the latter have promptly reacted to ensure that the situation was under control.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also gave a stern warning to those trying to disturb communal harmony in the country, promising action will be taken against the perpetrators of the communal violence in Cumilla.