Hun­dreds at­tack Hindu homes, tem­ples in BD

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

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 god Shiva over a pic­ture of the Kaaba, the large cube-shaped build­ing in Makkah, one of the holi­est places in Is­lam.

As news of the post spread through neigh­bour­hoods 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 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.—AP

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