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Dhaka Tribune

Attacks on Hindus: 450 arrested for spreading rumors on social media

Update : 19 Oct 2021, 01:42 PM

As many as 450 people have been arrested in the past five days over the attacks on puja venues, temples, Hindu homes and businesses, and for spreading rumours on social media amid the Durga Puja, the largest festival of Hindus.

At least 71 cases have been started in different parts of the country, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Md Kamruzzaman of the police headquarters said in a statement on Monday.

The number of arrests and cases could rise further as operations are underway, said the senior police official.

In another statement, the Police Headquarters warned everyone against conspiracies to create instability by spreading rumours on social media.

The relevant police unit is monitoring social media for rumours, according to the statement, which urged the people not to trust anything without fact-checking.

Also Read - Protests against attacks on Hindus multiply as violence continues

Communal tensions have gripped Bangladesh over the past few days following allegations of the Quran being dishonoured at a puja pavilion in Comilla on October 13, triggering violence in several districts across the country.

Security was ramped up at houses of worship, and Border Guard Bangladesh troops were dispatched to more than two dozen districts. The 10-day festival came to a close on Friday with the immersion of Durga idols.

At least four people were killed in police shootings during the attack on Puja locations in Chandpur's Hajiganj on October 13 and in Noakhali's Choumuhani, attacks on Hindu temples left two people dead on October 15.

The government and law enforcement agencies have described the incidents as “planned” in a bid to destabilize the country.

Also Read - ED: This has to stop

On Sunday night, Hindu villages in Rangpur’s Pirganj upazila came under attack over an alleged Facebook post hurting Muslims’ religious sentiments. At least 20 homes were torched in the attack.    

The young Hindu man who allegedly uploaded the post was detained on Monday, said police.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the culprits behind the arson attacks on Hindu homes in Rangpur were 'identified immediately' and police arrested 45 suspects.

The government would soon rebuild the homes razed and looted by the attackers in Rangpur, he said.

Seven senior police officers, including the superintendents of police for Rangpur and Feni, were transferred to different places and posts in the wake of the communal violence.

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