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Dhaka Tribune

3 more held over attack on Hindu houses in Sunamganj

Court has ordered to send the prime suspect Shahidul Islam Swadhin to jail

Update : 21 Mar 2021, 10:48 AM

Police have detained three more suspects in connection with the attack on Hindu homes in Noagaon village of Sunamganj's Shalla upazila.

Two of the arrested are Jewel and Wahedul of Dhonpur village, and the third person could not be identified immediately.

They were apprehended at villages in Derai upazila of the district during an overnight drive, Shalla police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Nazmul Haque said on Sunday.

With the development, the law enforcers have arrested 33 people so far after the incident of the attack, he said.

On Saturday, the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) apprehended the prime suspect, Shahidul Islam Swadhin, at Gurabhui village of Kulaura upazila in Moulvibazar.

He was handed over to Shalla police later on the day.

OC Nazmul said police produced Swadhin before a Sunamganj court on Sunday morning with a remand petition to interrogate him over the attack incident.

Sunamganj Court Inspector Selim Newaz also confirmed the matter, saying the investigating officer in the case, SI Bashar, had asked the court to grant the remand of Swadhin for 10 days and 32 other accused for five days. 

Senior Judicial Magistrate Shyamkant Sinha of Sunamganj Chief Judicial Court has given orders to send Shahidul Islam alias Swadhin to jail.

Swadhin will be taken to court again on Monday, the court inspector added.

Locals said Swadhin is an inhabitant of Nachni village in Derai upazila of Sunamganj. 

A member of Ward 5 under Sharmangal Union Parishad in Derai, Swadhin is also the president of Ward 5 unit Awami Jubo League.

Also Read - Dispute over leased waterbody behind attack on Hindu homes in Sunamganj?

Two cases were filed with Shalla police station over the incident. One of the cases was lodged by police against 1,500 unidentified people while the other case, which named Swadhin as an instigator, was filed by Habibpur Union Parishad Chairman Vivekananda Majumder.

On March 15, Hefazat-e-Islam chief Junaid Babunagari, Joint Secretary General Mamunul Haque and other central leaders attended a conference in Derai upazila organized by the radical Islamic group.

Enraged by Mamunul Haque's speech at the conference, a young Hindu man from Noagaon village allegedly made a Facebook post on March 16 criticizing Mamunul, who earlier opposed the sculpture of Bangabandhu.

Mamunul's supporters brought out a procession in the area at night on March 16, accusing the Hindu man of hurting religious sentiments, according to OC Nazmul Haque. 

The Hindu man was detained the same night to calm the Hefazat supporters, he said. 

On March 17 morning, thousands of Mamunul's followers from Kashipur, Nachni, Chandipur and other villages inhabited by Muslims attacked Noagaon village with sticks and locally made weapons.

They ransacked Hindu houses and looted valuables as the residents fled the village, the police official added. 

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