The destroyed homes are in the neighbouring villages of Jaynagar Pashchimpara, Banikpara and Hashpatalpara. All are within walking distance of each other, and the victims all said their homes were torched around 3am. No one was injured in the incidents but homestead owners said fires had been started in cowsheds and kitchens.
Another house was torched in Chotipara area under Gukorno union around 6:30pm.
Manoranjan Banik, a sexagenarian well respected in the area, narrowly escaped the fire started in his house in Bonikpara village. Speaking to this correspondent, Manoranjan said he had never felt this helpless in all his life.
"It seems like it has become impossible for us to stay here anymore. Today it was the temple. Next time maybe they will set fire to us," he said.
His daughter, Padma Debi, told the Dhaka Tribune that all had appeared quiet when the family had returned home from a funeral around 2:30am.
"Someone set fire to our thatched house half an hour after that. The neighbours told us they had heard the sound of a CNG-run auto-rickshaw near our house."
Family would have 'burned to death'
Fulkishore Sarkar from Hashpatalpara said his cowshed and kitchen had been torched, while Rinku Rani Mallick of Banikpara said her family would have burned to death had her son, Joy, not discovered the fire. The class six student was also an eye-witness of the October 30 attacks, and said this latest fire was started in the kitchen next to his room.
"I woke up smelling the fire and yelled for everyone to come out. Then we were able to put it out," he said.
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Photo collected from Facebook[/caption]
After visiting the spot, Nasirnagar UNO Chowdhury Md Moazzem Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune that 11 homes had been burned down, but this correspondent found that the arson took place in five homes in the upazila. One of the homes held a shrine.
“I have informed the authorities about the incident. We will take the next steps as per their direction,” the UNO said.
Deputy Commissioner of Brahmanbaria Rezaul Rehman was also at the scene.
"I will have to talk to the local public representatives and decide the steps that needs to be taken regarding the matter," he said.
In the October 30 attacks, over 100 people were injured when a mob of around 3,000 local Muslims armed with weapons demolished at least 10 temples and vandalised hundreds of houses of the Hindu community in Nasirnagar, reportedly in response to a Facebook post that satirised the Masjid al-Haram- a holy site for Muslims.
The alleged defamatory post appeared on the Facebook timeline of local Hindu youth, Rasraj Das. The incident occurred even though Rasraj had already apologised to Muslims the day before, saying that his account had been hacked.