Locals took to mob justice for ‘hurting religious sentiments’
Two Hindu households consisting five houses were vandalized and torched in Comilla after a man reportedly showed support for France defending cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) on Facebook.
The incident took place at the Korbanpur village under Muradnagar upazila of Comilla on Sunday afternoon, creating panic among the community.
The office of the local Union Parishad Chairman Bankumar Shiv and the house of accused, Shankar Debnath, were vandalized and was set on fire. The fire service had to be called to douse the fire.
Meanwhile, pictures and videos of the attack went viral on social media within moments.
Also Read - 6 arrested over Lalmonirhat mob lynching
Bangra police station immediately rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control.
Later, Comilla’s Deputy Commissioner Abul Fazal Mir, Superintendent of Police Syed Nurul Islam, and other officials of the administration visited the scene.
According to locals, Shankar Debnath, a local of the village, on Saturday, reportedly commented on a Facebook post related to France defending cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and showed his support.
A case was filed over the incident. Following, on Sunday, police arrested Shankar and Anik Bhowmik, another accused in the case, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and sent them to jail.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Comilla Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) DSB Azimul Ahsan said: “A group of locals of Korbanpur village torched the office of local Union Parishad Chairman Bankumar Shiv, the house of Shankar Debnath, on Sunday afternoon.
“We have deployed additional force in the area to maintain law and order.”
On October 29, an unruly mob lynched Abu Yunus Md Shahidunnabi Jewel, based on rumours that he had allegedly desecrated the Quran at the prayer hall of Burimari Central Jame Mosque at Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat.
On October 16, a French middle-school teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded by an 18-year-old Muslim Russian-born refugee of Chechen descent, Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov, for showing caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad at a class on freedom of speech and expression.
The same caricature published in 2015 by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo led to 12 killings by Islamist extremists.
French president Emmanuel Macron said that the incident was "a typical Islamist terrorist attack," and that "our compatriot was killed for teaching children freedom of speech."
The country is now in shock after the beheading of a teacher and the killing of three more people in a church, attacks that have been blamed on Islamist radicals and which have propelled the fight against terror to the top of the agenda. The motives behind the shooting of a priest in Lyon on Saturday are still not clear.
This story has been corrected. The previous version had said that over 10 houses of Hindus were vandalized and torched.