Police detain 20 people in Gazipur
Miscreants have vandalized several Hindu temples and Durga Puja venues in Gazipur and Bandarban.
Police detained 20 people over the Thursday morning attacks in Gazipur’s Kashimpur, while arrests were made in Bandarban until the afternoon.
In Kashimpur, a group of men armed with sticks barged into the local Radha Gobinda Temple around 7am and vandalized the idols there, said Kashimpur Puja Organizing Council President Babul Rudra.
An hour earlier, a family temple at Paschim Para and another temple at Pal Para were also attacked by unidentified men.
After the attacks, members of the Hindu community demonstrated in front of the Gazipur deputy commissioner’s office.
Police later detained 20 people over the attacks, said Konabari zone Assistant Commissioner Belal Hossain. “Raids will continue to catch the attackers. But we are yet to know why the attacks were carried out.”
In Bandarban’s Lama upazila, a group of miscreants launched a series of attacks on the upazila’s Central Hari Mandir on Thursday morning, leading to a clash with the police.
Some 50 people, including the Lama police OC, were injured in the skirmish.
According to locals, over a hundred people had attended a rally at Lama Bazar under the banner of “Towhidi Muslim Janata” before attacking and vandalizing the temple.
Police tried to bring the situation under control and fired blank shots at one point. Those attending the rally then retaliated by hurling brickbats, which led to the clash.
The injured were admitted to the Upazila Health Complex.
Later, at least 40 business establishments and eight houses belonging to the local Hindu community were vandalized and looted.
Lama police Sub-Inspector Jumma Molla said police and troopers of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the army were deployed to maintain law and order in the area.
Bandarban Deputy Commissioner Yasmin Parvin said the situation was under control in the afternoon.
Later in the evening, top officials of the local administrations and police held a meeting with the leaders of different communities and political parties to reach an understanding and maintain order.
On Wednesday, tensions erupted among a faction of locals in Comilla after news broke on social media about the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran at a Durga Puja venue on the bank of Nanuar Dighi.
At one point, the situation began getting out of hand and riots started spreading to a number of Puja venues in the adjacent areas. The local administration and police came under attack while trying to establish order.
Later in the afternoon, Rapid Action Battalion and BGB troops were deployed to bring the situation under control.
Similar incidents also occurred in different districts across the country on Wednesday night and Thursday, leading the government to deploy Border Guard Bangladesh troopers in 22 districts alongside additional law enforcement officials.
There have been reports of people getting killed in Chandpur, while dozens of people have been either injured in clashes or arrested by law enforcers in multiple districts until now.
Our Gazipur Correspondent Raihanul Islam Akand and Bandarban Correspondent S Bashu Das contributed to this report