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53 detained over attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh


Dhaka, Nov 11 (IANS): The Bangladesh police have detained 53 people in connection with arson attacks on the homes of Hindus over a rumoured Facebook post by a local "insulting religion".

More than 30 homes belonging to Hindu families in Rangpur's Thakurbari village were ransacked and looted before being set on fire by a mob on Friday over the "derogatory" status posted by a Hindu man, Bdnews24.com reported.

One person, 30-year-old Habibur Rahman, was killed when the police opened fire to ward off the angry mob that turned violent and set fire to several homes. Eleven others were injured in the violence.

Police filed two cases over the incidents and arrested 53 people, said Police Superintendent Mizanur Rahman.

One of the victims, Dulali Rani told the Dhaka Tribune: "A mob came to our neighbourhood on Friday afternoon and started ransacking our home without any provocation. They even took our cattle.

"They burned everything, even my cooking pots. We do not have a place to sleep at night, and no way to cook food."

Several villagers said that if someone posted a derogatory status on Facebook, hold that one person accountable for his or her action.

The status was allegedly put on social media by Thakurbari village native Titu Roy, but very few villagers admitted to seeing it, the daily reported.

One of the witnesses said thousands of protesters from six nearby villages banded together after the Jumma prayers and attacked the Hindu neighbourhood.

A three-member investigation committee was formed to probe the situation. The district administration said it is making special arrangements to compensate the victims of the attacks.

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