Tensions rise as Muslim mobs torch Hindu homes in Bangladesh


Dhaka: Amid tensions over last week’s attacks on Hindu homes and temples, unidentified people on Friday torched several more homes in Brahmanbaria district in Bangladesh, media reports said.

Locals said at around 4 a.m., miscreants set fire to six dwelling structures of the Hindu community in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria, including a cowshed, three kitchen rooms and two houses.

No one was injured in the incidents.

The destroyed homes were in the villages of Jaynagar Pashchimpara, Banikpara and Hashpatalpara. The homestead owners said the fires had been started in cowsheds and kitchens.

Deputy Commissioner of Brahmanbaria Rezaul Rehman, who visited the scene, said: “I will have to talk to the local public representatives and decide the steps that needs to be taken regarding the matter,” Dhaka Tribune quoted him as saying.

Local leaders of Awami League visited the spot.

“It seems like it has become impossible for us to stay here anymore. Today it was the temple. Next time maybe they will set fire to us,” said a local who narrowly escaped the fire.

The incident comes four days after a mob of around 3,000 local Muslims armed with weapons carried out an attack on nearly 100 Hindu houses and at least 10 temples, vandalising and looting valuables.

It was reportedly in response to a Facebook post that satirised the Masjid al-Haram- a holy site for Muslims.

On Friday, police also identified around 50 people from videos captured during the communal attacks and promised that strict action will be taken against them.

Meanwhile, the ruling Awami League (AL) suspended three local leaders of Nasirnagar, Brahmanbaria for their alleged involvement in the October 30 communal attack on the local Hindu minorities.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader warned that all the attackers must be punished.

“Punishment of the attackers is a must as the Sheikh Hasina-led government has taken a tough position to this end,” Daily Star quoted as saying.

He also called upon the Hindu community not to treat themselves as a minority and said that the government is with them.


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