• Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:13 pm

Clash in Bhola over hate speech: No forensic report even after a year

  • Published at 06:28 pm October 18th, 2020
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File photo: Locals carry an injured person after a clash between villagers and police over an unverified Facebook post in Borhanuddin upazila of Bhola on Sunday, October 20, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

4 protesters, including a child, were killed when police opened fire during a clash on October 20, 2019, at a protest rally in Borhanuddin upazila

After almost a year, police are yet to complete the investigation in three cases filed in connection with the violent clash between a mob of protesters and the police in Bhola’s Borhanuddin upazila where four people were killed. 

The protest and the subsequent clash were triggered by a Facebook post from the account of a Hindu person that insulted Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The mobile phone used for making the provocative posts was sent to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for forensic examination but they are yet to submit the report even after a year, said police sources.

There is no significant progress in the investigation as the forensic report of the case filed under the Digital Security Act — the case deemed to be the most important of the three — has not been submitted.

The case filed under the Digital Security Act is being investigated by the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI).

A PBI official said: “An abusive post was made from the Facebook account of a youth named Biplob Chandra Shuvo, who belongs to a minority group and is a resident of Kachia union of the upazila. But he is innocent as his mobile phone was hacked.”

Investigation revealed that Bapon Das, 24, a man from Kishoreganj district, hacked Shuvo's mobile phone. He was arrested and sent to jail.

Requesting anonymity, a PBI official said Bapon confessed to being a professional hacker in court under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Bapon said he did this with the intention of hurting religious sentiments. Bapon's mobile phone was sent to the CID.

Whether any individual or organization of Borhanuddin upazila is involved with Bapon or not and who contacted him through that mobile phone — investigators are waiting for a forensic report to reveal the whole incident.

Statement from CID’s forensic unit could not be obtained.

The clash and the cases

Other than the case filed under the Digital Security Act, cases were filed for vandalizing Shuvo’s house and a temple, and attacking the police. Borhanuddin police filed a case against 4,000-5,000 unnamed people for the attack on police.

Sarker Md Kaiser, the superintendent of Bhola police, told Dhaka Tribune: “A group wanted to take advantage of religious sentiments but they failed. 

“Examining the footage, we have identified some 100 people who were aggressive at the scene. They will be charged in the cases of assault on the police and vandalism of the temple.”

He continued: “Many of the attackers were shot by the police during the clash; they are not being arrested for humanitarian reasons.”

However, there was no political reason behind the attack, the police official said. 

Four protesters, including a child, were killed and over 150 people, including 10 policemen, were injured when police opened fire in “self-defense” during a clash on October 20, 2019, at a protest rally under the banner of “Touhidi Janata” in Borhanuddin upazila.

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