Mobs of Muslims in District Comilla of Bangladesh vandalised houses of several Hindu families and set them on fire yesterday over rumours about a Facebook post that supposedly slandered Islam. A Bangladeshi man, who lives in France, had allegedly praised President Emmanuel Macron for taking steps against “inhumane ideologies” after a Muslim terrorist had beheaded a teacher in Paris for showing caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.
The headmaster of a kindergarten school in Purbo Dhour welcomed Macron’s action in a comment on the post. As the rumours about the Facebook post spread, tension mounted in the area on 31 October.
The police arrested two Hindus on charges of hurting the religious sentiments on 1 November, the report quoted Qamruzzaman Talukder, Officer-in-Charge of Bangra Bazar Police Station, as saying. They include the headmaster of the kindergarten. The other person is a resident of nearby Andikot village.
“The situation is under control now,” Md Abul Fazal Mir, deputy commissioner of Cumilla district, told media after visiting the area. Syed Nurul Islam, Superintendent of Police, has visited the scene.
The deputy commissioner said locals had carried out arson attacks on houses, including those of the two arrestees.
Asked what measures the authorities have taken against the attackers, Mir said the administration has swung into action.
Qamruzzaman said the process to file a case over the attack was underway. The police will watch videos to identify the attackers, he added.
Demonstrations against France over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad have been taking place in different Muslim-majority countries for some days.
Bangladeshi authorities have deployed four platoons of police in Kurbanpur and Andikot villages to keep the situation under control.
The police launched a case under the Digital Security Act against the headmaster and the other arrestee. A court denied bail and sent them to jail pending trial when the police produced them before it late on 1 November afternoon.