300 detained by Bangladesh police after attacks on Hindus

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Photo: Twitter/KrishnaSowmya

The police in Bangladesh has detained at least 300 suspects after two Hindu men were killed and temples were vandalised following unrest triggered by the alleged desecration of the Muslim holy book during a Hindu religious festival last week, Al Jazeera reported.

Violence erupted across Bangladesh after a photo was widely circulated on social media on Wednesday, showing the Quran placed on the knee of a Hindu deity during celebrations for the Durga Puja festival in the eastern district of Cumilla.

Angry mobs have attacked Hindu temples and clashed with police in various parts of Bangladesh in the following days, leaving at least six people, including two Hindus, dead and more than 100 injured.

The police said more than 200 attackers beat and stabbed to death an executive member of the temple committee in the southern town of Begumganj were members of the Hindu community were preparing to perform the last rites of the 10-day Durga Puja festival, Al Jazeera reported.

On Saturday morning, another Hindu man’s body was found near a pond next to the temple, district police chief Shahidul Islam told the AFP news agency. “Two men have died since yesterday’s attack. We are working to find the culprits,” he added.

Violence also broke out in the capital Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong, prompting police to fire tear gas and rubber bullets at thousands of brick-throwing Muslim protesters.

However, high-speed mobile phone internet services were shut down in an apparent bid to prevent the violence from spreading.

Bangladeshi media reports on Sunday said at least 20 homes belonging to Hindus were torched in Rangpur city’s Pirganj neighbourhood.

The incident came a day after some 10,000 protesters – many of them carrying banners of Islamist political parties – took to the streets outside Dhaka’s main mosque.

The crowd chanted “Down with the enemies of Islam” and “Hang the culprits.


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