Police have urged the citizens of Bangladesh not to be misled by rumours or provocation after communal violence in parts of the country left seven people dead.
The Police Headquarters issued a statement on Wednesday in the wake of a spate of attacks on Hindu homes, businesses and places of worship following communal hatred spread on social media, reports bdnews24.com.
“Please inform the nearest law-enforcing agency immediately and help them improve the situation instead of being misled or agitated by misleading information, rumours or provocation,” the statement said.
Police strengthened social media monitoring to curb the spread of rumours and arrested 450 people in 72 cases recorded until Tuesday. Special units have joined ongoing operations to investigate the incidents and arrest more culprits, according to the statement.
The Rapid Action Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh and other law-enforcing and intelligence agencies are also monitoring the situation round the clock to prevent deterioration of law and order.
DEADLY ATTACKS AFTER HATRED SPREAD ON FACEBOOK
Unidentified people left a copy of the Quran at a Durga Puja venue in Cumilla on Oct 13.
“Some miscreants conducted a provocative and perverse campaign centring the incident,” police said.
More “unruly miscreants” carried out organised attacks on temples and puja venues in Cumilla later.
Police strengthened their presence and surveillance across Bangladesh, but “untoward” incidents occurred in other parts of the country “despite their best efforts and maximum alert”.
The statement said up to 600 miscreants with locally made arms attacked temples and puja venues in Chandpur’s Hajiganj following the Cumilla incident.
They also attack police, injuring 15 policemen, after the law enforcers tried to stop them.
“Police opened fire in self-defence and to save lives and properties of people. Five people lost their lives in the incident,” police said.
Some 800 unruly people protesting the ”dishonouring” of the Quran attacked the magistrate, policemen and border guards on duty outside a puja venue in Noakhali’s Begumganj on Oct 14.
Police said one person died in the attack and another body was recovered from a pond next to the puja venue later.
A young Hindu man in Rangpur’s Pirganj uploaded an image “dishonouring” the Kaaba on Facebook on Oct 17. As the post went viral, a mob of locals torched a temple and 18 Hindu homes of the area.
Similar communal attacks were carried out in Cox’s Bazar, Sylhet, Molvibazar, Habiganj, Gazipur and other parts of the country. A total of 50 policemen were injured duringthe incidents.