DHAKA – An angry mob ransacked at least 15 temples and hundreds of houses belonging to Hindus in Bangladesh’s Chittagong on Sunday against an alleged Facebook post demeaning the most sacred mosque in the world, local media reports said on Monday.
“Thousands of people, including activists of Hefajat-e-Islam and Ahle Sunnat, brought out separate rallies in Nasirnagar under Brahmanbaria district on Sunday demanding capital punishment for the man who posted a demeaning the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca”, reported The Daily Star.
Brahmanbaria superintendent of police Mizanur Rahman told the newspaper that around 150 to 200 people launched the attacks and vandalised at least seven to eight idols inside five temples in the area.
Two people were injured in the attacks while six people were detained, he added.
Nasirnagar Puja Committee’s general secretary Khailpada Poddar, however, alleged that at least 15 Hindu temples were vandalised and looted. “Two hundred Hindu houses were ransacked and looted,” he told the newspaper.
The violence was contained by the police who took control over law and order in the area around 2:00pm, Rahman said. A raid was also conducted to nab the culprits.
A large number of security personnel from the police, Rapid Action Battalion, and paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh have been deployed in the area, the report said.
Bangladesh in recent months has experienced a number of attacks on people from religious minorities, secular bloggers, publishers, writers, foreigners, many of which were claimed by Islamist militants.
The country witnessed similar attacks on Hindu temples after the controversial 2014 elections when a secular party led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won polls boycotted by the opposition.
In late 2012 Muslim mobs also torched Buddhist monasteries, houses and shops in the coastal Cox’s Bazar district following a Buddhist youth’s alleged defamatory photo post of the Koran.