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Bangladesh communal violence: Prime suspect, accomplice confess to instigating communal violence against Hindu community

06:29 PM Oct 25, 2021 | PTI

A prime suspect and his accomplice, accused of spreading communal hatred on social media and inciting recent violence against a minority Hindu community in Bangladesh, have confessed to their crime in a pre-trial trial.

Shaikt Mandal on Sunday confessed before a magistrate that it was his Facebook post that led to violence at Rangpur in Peerganj sub-district during the Durga Puja festival in the country on October 17.

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Mandal’s accomplice Rabiul Islam is a 36-year-old cleric, who has been accused of arson and robbery.

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“Shaikat Mandal and his accomplice Rabiul Isam have accepted their role before a senior judicial magistrate in (north-west) Rangpur, Delwar Hussain,” the court official told reporters.

In a police raid, he was arrested from Ghazipur on Friday and a case was registered under the Digital Security Act.

Mandal is a student of the philosophy department of Rangpur’s Carmichael College, and was expelled from the Student League, the student wing of the ruling Awami League, following his arrest.

A report in bdnews24.com quoting an officer of the Rapid Action Battalion said that he had uploaded objectionable content on Facebook to increase his number of followers.

The official said Islam helped Mandal instigate Muslims in the village through announcements over loudspeakers on Friday.

The report said police officials claimed that the violence in Peerganj was instigated after a rumor spread that a Hindu man had posted religiously objectionable material on Facebook.

According to the police, around 70 Hindu houses were torched during the devastation that took place on October 17.

Media reports said that at least seven people have so far confessed to their crime as part of the pre-trial legal proceedings, which have led to 683 arrests and over 70 cases on 24,000 suspects, most of whom were anonymous. .

Attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh have been reported during Durga Puja celebrations after an alleged blasphemy post went viral on social media on October 13.

RAB officials said that apart from Mandal and Islam, the police have also been detained, Iqbal Hussain, who allegedly kept a Quran at a Durga Puja site in Kumila, and Faiz Ahmed, who had a recitation of the Quran at the place of worship. The video was posted, RAB officials said.

On Saturday, members of minority religious communities under the banner of Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council staged mass hunger strikes and dharnas in the Shabagh area of ​​central Dhaka and other parts of the country.

The United Nations has widely condemned the attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh.

Last week, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed her home minister to initiate immediate action against those inciting violence using religion as she urged people not to trust anything on social media without fact-checking. asked for

Hindus constitute about 10 percent of the 169 million population of Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

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