Govt orders actions against bigots over vandalism in Cumilla

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DHAKA, Nov 2, 2020 (BSS) – Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said orders were issued for stern punitive actions against bigots who vandalized and torched several Hindu households over an alleged Facebook post slandering Islam in Cumilla’s Muradnagar area.

“Orders have been issued to arrest anyone who appeared as suspects alongside launching routine legal procedures against those involved,” he told BSS.

Kamal said extra police forces were sent to the affected village to ensure security of people in the neighbourhood while by now several suspects were arrested to be exposed to justice for vandalism.

“We have mobilized mobile courts to award punishment to the suspects as immediate actions but the culprits will face sterner punitive actions after detailed investigations,” he added.

The households were vandalized and later set on fire on Sunday after a Bangladeshi Hindu, who lives in France, allegedly praised, on his Facebook account , French President Emmanuel Macron for taking steps against inhumane ideologies after a teacher in Paris was decapitated for showing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

A local Hindu school headmaster and another reportedly shared his comments welcoming Macron’s action in a comment on the post which was spread on social media with the claim that the headmaster supported caricatures of the prophet (PBUH).

The local union parishad chairman, himself a Hindu, handed over them to police while a court declined to grant them bail as they were accused under the Digital Security Act.

“Five people have been arrested and a mobile court has sentenced each of them to one and half years of imprisonment identifying them from a video footage. . . three cases were lodged by now and another two are being framed over the incident,” Cumilla’s police superintendent Syed Nurul Islam told BSS.

He said youth activists of an “anti-government political party” reportedly mobilized the mob which carried out the vandalism when two Hindu temples were also damaged”.

Reached by phone as well a neighbourer of the affected homes at Muradnagar, referred to as Laxmi Babu said the bigots torched nine houses and two temples on Sunday “but the situation is now normal after police held a meeting with villagers”.