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Bhola clash: Hacker of Biplob’s Facebook account identified, Kamal says

  • Published at 08:25 pm October 24th, 2019
Bhola Clash
File Photo: An injured person at the clash in Borhanuddin upazila of Bhola on Sunday, October 20, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Police working to arrest the hacker; 5 people remanded in 2 cases

The individual who hacked Bhola youth Biplob Chandra Baidya Shuvo’s Facebook account and used it to spread hate speech has been identified, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said on Thursday. 

Speaking to reporters after an event at the Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh in Dhaka, the minister said police had identified the hacker with the help of the Facebook authorities. 

“Police are working to arrest the hacker,” he further said, adding that details in this regard would be revealed later. 

Earlier on Thursday, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told reporters that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had directed the authorities concerned to investigate the issue.

Several law enforcement agencies are working on the case to find out what caused the violent clash between a mob of protesters, and police in Burhanuddin upazila, Bhola on October 20, which killed four people, and injured at least 200. 

Investigators are trying to find out whether there is any conspiracy behind the incident, or if communal forces are involved, Quader told reporters.

He further said anyone found guilty of inciting violence would be brought to book after investigation.

About the alleged involvement of Islami Chhatra Shibir activists in the assault, the road transport and bridges minister said, some known faces had been identified in the surveillance camera footage. “Action will be taken after investigation,” he added. 

Asked about steps to stop spreading of rumour on Facebook, he said the government was in touch with the Facebook authorities in this regard. “Rumour is a global problem. Our authorities concerned are keeping in touch with the Facebook authorities,” he said.

5 placed on remand in 2 cases

Meanwhile, a Bhola court on Thursday placed five people on remand for three days each on Thursday, in two separate cases.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sharif Sanaul Haque issued the order after the case investigation officer sought a seven-day remand each for Biplob, Emon, and Sharif, and a five-day remand each for Arif and Sajib, said court police’s Inspector Rathindranath Biswas. 

Borhanuddin police station OC Enamul Haque said police arrested Arif and Sajib, for their alleged involvement in the attack on police on October 20, from Borhanuddin municipality area on Wednesday evening.

Shuvo, Sharif, and Emon were shown arrested earlier in a case under the Digital Security Act.

Bhola Superintendent of Police Sarker Md Kaiser said: “We are now looking at the video footage, and trying to arrest the accused after identifying them.” 

The situation in the area is calm at present, but the local law enforcement is on alert to prevent unwarranted situations, he added.

On October 20, the casualties had occurred in Bhola's Borhanuddin upazila when police opened fire to disperse a mob demanding punishment for Biplob, who they believed was responsible for spreading offensive messages against Islam on the Facebook Messenger app.

The same evening, Borhanuddin police’s Sub-Inspector (SI) Delwar Hossain had filed the Digital Security Act case against Biplob and seven to eight unnamed others, for spreading the derogatory messages.

A day earlier, Biplob had filed a general diary with Borhanuddin police, saying his account had been hacked.

Police further said several people on Biplob’s friend list on Facebook had received messages from his account, where they had been asked to tell him to pay money if he wanted his account back.

Police and locals said messages with derogatory remarks about Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were sent to several individuals from Biplob’s Facebook account. Screenshots of the messages went viral on Facebook, triggering condemnation and the protests. 

Following the clashes, Borhanuddin police filed a case against 5,000 unnamed people over the attack on police.