Bangladesh Police have detained 43 people so far over communal violence that erupted at Comilla puja venues in Bangladesh, after news broke out on social media that the site was being used to desecrate the Holy Quran.
The country’s Ministry of Religion has instructed the administration to investigate the case further.
The Daily Star newspaper reported that at least three people were killed and many others injured on Wednesday as a mob and the police clashed in Chandpur’s Hajiganj upazila following the incident at Comilla.
As clashes broke out, the administration and the police tried to bring the situation under control, it said.
Incidents of vandalism of Hindu temples were reported from Chandpur’s Hajiganj, Chattogram’s Banshkhali and Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua, the report said.
The Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported that at one stage, the situation went out of control and riots started spreading to a number of Durga Puja venues.
Perpetrators of the attacks on Hindu temples and Durga Puja venues are being hunted down by the chief of the police’s Chittagong Range, according to a Dhaka Tribune report.
Investigators are going through security footage to identify and locate those behind the incident and senior police officers have assured that justice will be brought to people by catching hold of the perpetrators.
The incident was reportedly part of a plan to incite tensions which became the centre of a social media storm on Wednesday for allegedly disgracing the Holy Quran.
Police have detained one Fayez Uddin, who initially posted the video on social media, and are questioning him for information, which will be cross-checked. The probe body will submit a report within 3 days.
Additional security measures were taken to avert any untoward incident which was why the situation remained calm and under control reported the cops.
Violence broke out in other localities too as reports of Hindu temples and idols being vandalized in Gazipur began to surface.
Around 7am on Thursday, a group of armed men, reportedly barged into the Radha Gobinda Temple and vandalized the idols, according to the Kashimpur Puja Organizing Council.
Two other temples were also vandalised earlier around 6 am in Kashimpur’s Pashchim Para and Pal Para.
Later, the elite anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and paramilitary force Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were deployed to bring the situation under control, the report said.
The Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council also took to Twitter requesting Muslims not to believe rumours doing rounds on social media, citing their respect for the Islamic holy book and that some parties with vested interests are trying to cause a riot. They requested that no more temples or Hindus be attacked in the country.
With PTI inputs
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