The controversial Facebook post that triggered the communal attack on the Hindu houses in Ranglpur’s Thakurpara village was uploaded somewhere in Gangachara upazila in Rangpur, according to sources at a law enforcement agency.
The user of the Facebook ID from where the controversial post was circulated was also found to have signed in for the last time from somewhere near Bangladesh Bank’s Rangpur office on Thursday night, they added.
The sources at a law enforcement agency told the Dhaka Tribune that they became sure about the locations by tracking the device used to access the Facebook account of “MD Titu.”
There were rumours that one Titu Roy, originally from Thakurpara village but currently living in Narayanganj, put up the Facebook post defaming Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a few days ago.
However, an analysis of the said Facebook account from where the controversial post was published shows there is a good chance someone else might have impersonated Titu.
The Facebook account resembling Titu Roy is named “MD Titu”. The account was opened just two months back in September this year, although he had managed to make 288 friends by this time.
Family members of Titu Roy brushed aside any possibility of him operating a Facebook account, saying he is illiterate.
Titu’s younger brother Bipul Chandra told the Dhaka Tribune: “Titu took loans from different NGOs and failed to repay the money. He fled the area seven years ago over that issue. He never returned home after that. He took his wife and children to Dhaka around five years ago.”
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Titu and his wife now work at a garment factory in Narayanganj’s Fatullah, he added.
“We had heard that a Facebook ID named after Titu spread rumours and caused all the tension here. But my brother cannot even read a word. How can he run a Facebook ID? We think someone else opened an ID and named it after Titu,” Bipul said.
The villagers confirmed the Dhaka Tribune that the Facebook ID of “MD Titu” was the one that was used in spreading hatred against the Hindu community.
100 held over attack on Hindu houses
Police have detained 47 more suspects in connection with the communal attack on Hindu houses at Thakurpara village.
The total number of arrestees over the incident now stands at 100.
Additional Superintendent of Police (Special Branch) ABM Zakir Hossain told BSS that 100 persons, mostly leaders and activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its affiliated student organisation Islami Chhatra Shibir, were arrested till Saturday in connection with two separate cases filed over the incident.
“Police have identified each person who were directly involved with the clash from video footage captured by police from the spot and not a single person can escape arrest,” he said.
The ASP also mentioned that they had already sent a DB team to arrest Titu Roy from Dhaka with the assistance of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Criminal Investigation Department, and Cyber Crime Unit.
ASP Zakir is a member of the three-member probe body formed to investigate the incident.
The probe body started their investigation with a visit to the affected areas on Saturday.
Additional District Magistrate Abu Rafa Md Arif, who is the head of the probe body, said they had talked to the victim families, and that it seems a fake Facebook ID was involved with the Facebook status which has been much talked about since the incident took place.
Deputy Inspector General of Rangpur range, Khandaker Golam Faruk, also visited Thakurpara village on Saturday to oversee the distribution of financial assistance to the affected families.
On Friday, an attack was carried out by a section among the 20,000 locals which was reportedly mustered out from six to seven neighbouring villages including Paglapeer, Mominpur and Horialkuthi after the Jumma prayers.
The law enforcement officials chased the attackers and at one point of chasing and counter chasing law enforcement officials fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to control the situation.
One died, six were injured, more than 30 homes belonging to Hindu families were ransacked and looted before being set on fire.
Six people with bullet injuries were admitted to Rangpur Medical College Hospital. Among them, a youth named Hamidul Islam succumbed to his injuries later.
The angry mob later blocked the Rangpur-Dinajpur Highway to protest against the police attack, halting vehicular moment for about four hours in the afternoon.
On Saturday, police filed two cases over the incident with Kotwali and Gangachara police stations.