• Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:21 pm

Bhola calms down, but new controversies pop up

  • Published at 11:47 pm October 22nd, 2019
Bhola-03
Commuters on the street in Bhola Sadar on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Businesses, offices and educational institutions reopened in Bhola Sadar, Borhanuddin and other upazilas on Tuesday while intra-district traffic returned to regular movement

Normalcy returned to Bhola district as beefed up security decreased the tension on Tuesday, two days after clashes between a group of protesters and police left four people dead and over 100 others injured.

Businesses, offices and educational institutions reopened in Bhola Sadar, Borhanuddin and other upazilas on Tuesday while intra-district traffic returned to regular movement.

However, new controversies reared their heads on Tuesday, including hacking of the Facebook account of Bhola’s superintendent of police (SP).

Also, plainclothesmen allegedly picked up two relatives of Biplob Chandra Baidya Shuvo, the Hindu youth from whose Facebook profile hateful comments on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had spread after it was reportedly hacked.

Screenshots of the comments hurting religious sentiment soon went viral on social media and led to a protest demanding Biplob’s punishment at Borhanuddin upazila on Sunday. The casualties occurred after the situation escalated and demonstrating locals clashed with police.

The four deceased were buried in their family graveyards by their families on Sunday and Monday.

Borhanuddin Upazila Parishad Chairman Abul Kalam on Tuesday said the situation in the area was calm as no demonstrations or untoward situation took place following assurances of justice from the authorities.

MP Ali Azam of Bhola 2 constituency and the district administration also assured the families of all deceased and injured of providing them with all types of assistance, Kalam added.

Religious group Shorbodolio Muslim Oikya Parishad, which has been spearheading the protests in Bhola since the clashes, also refrained from demonstrating on Tuesday, after giving the authorities 72 hours on Monday to meet their six demands.

The group’s Joint Member Secretary Maulana Mizanur Rahman said: “We hope the authorities will meet our demands. We are also in favour of maintaining peace and law and order in our district.”

Police stand guard in Bhola Sadar on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 | Dhaka Tribune

Apart from high presence of police around the district town, Rapid Action Battalion and Border Guard Bangladesh personnel were seen patrolling the streets on Tuesday.

Bhola SP Sarkar Mohammad Kaisar said all Hindu temples and neighbourhoods were under police’s surveillance and protection to avoid further untoward incidents.

The investigation committee formed by the district administration visited the scene of Sunday’s clash at Borhanuddin upazila’s Belasar on Tuesday morning, and spoke to witnesses and people concerned.

SP’s FB account hacked

Meanwhile, the personal Facebook profile of Bhola SP Kaisar was reportedly hacked on Monday night, police said.

Bhola model police station OC Md Enayet Hossain on Tuesday confirmed the SP was unable to access his account since Monday night and later filed a general diary with them in this regard.

SP Kaisar was unavailable for comments over phone. Media reports, however, quoted him as saying that unknown individuals were making fake calls continuously since Sunday’s incident to his official phone number to keep it engaged.

Following Sunday’s fatal clashes, one of the six demands the Muslim Oikya Parishad made was immediate removal of SP Kaisar and Borhanuddin police OC Enamul Haque.

On Monday, a Bhola court had sent three people, including Biplob, to jail in a Digital Security Act case filed over the Facebook comments hurting religious sentiments.

The two others — Md Emon and Rafsan Islam Sharif alias Shakil — were arrested over their suspected involvement in hacking Biplob’s Facebook profile and spreading the comments defaming Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

  - Facebook account of Bhola SP hacked

  - Biplob Chandra Baidya Shuvo’s brother-in-law, cousin ‘picked up’

  - District administration’s investigation continues

  - Hefazat demonstrates in Dhaka, Chittagong

 

Biplob was detained even though he had filed a general diary (GD) with Borhanuddin police on October 19, claiming his account was hacked. Police later detained Emon and Sharif.

Biplob’s relatives ‘picked up’

Family members on Tuesday claimed that two of Biplob’s relatives were picked up from Bhola’s Charfashion upazila by plainclothesmen from the police’s Detective Branch (DB) on Monday evening.

Since then, Bidhan Majumder and Sagar Baidya have been missing, according to Bidhan’s father Binoy Bhushan Majumder, who on Tuesday also filed a GD with police in this regard.

Bidhan, 35, is married to Biplob’s sister Shilpi, and 18-year-old Sagar is a cousin of Biplob from his father’s side, said family members and police.

Binoy told reporters that Bidhan and Sagar were picked up by seven to eight plain-clothed DB officers, who arrived in a black vehicle, from their family-owned jewellery shop at Rouder Hat in the upazila’s Dularhat area.

“But we did not find them when we went to offices of police at Lalmohan and Charfashion. Police told us that they did not pick them up,” he said.

Dularhat police OC Mizanur Rahman Patwary confirmed that Binoy filed the GD with them on Tuesday saying Bidhan and Sagar were missing.

Both Mizanur and Charfashion police OC Shamsul Arefin claimed they were not aware of any law enforcement agency picking the two up.

Hefazat men rally in front of Baitul Mukarram mosque on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 |Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Hefazat demonstrates

Hefazat-e-Islam on Tuesday demonstrated in Dhaka and Chittagong in protest against Sunday’s clashes in Bhola.

The radical Islamist group held a rally in front of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque at the capital in the afternoon, which was attended by hundreds of its leaders, activists and supporters.

The group held a similar rally near the Jamiatul Falah Mosque in the port city after the Zohr prayers, as part of a nationwide protest program.

Addressing the rally, Hefazat Secretary General Juanyed Babunagari demanded punishment for Biplob and action against the Bhola SP, the OC of police station concerned and the policemen responsible for the deaths.


Dhaka Tribune’s Arifur Rahman Rabbi and Tanjir Rahman contributed to this report

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