Man gets eight years jail for inciting violence in Bhola

| Updated: May 03, 2022 18:55:48

Man gets eight years jail for inciting violence in Bhola

A special tribunal in Barishal has sentenced a man to eight years in prison for spreading hate content that “hurt others’ religious sentiment and incited violence” after hacking a fellow Hindu man’s Facebook account three years ago.

Judge Golam Farooq of the Barisal Divisional Cyber Tribunal ruled the convict Bapon Das will serve two more years in jail if fails to pay a fine of Tk 400,000, confirmed Special Public Prosecutor of Barisal Divisional Cyber Tribunal Ishtiaq Ahmed Rubel, reports bdnews24.com.

At least four people were killed in the violence that engulfed the Borhanuddin Upazila of Bhola district in 2019 after a mob under the banner of “Towhidi Janata” had clashed with police.

Police opened fire to disperse the mob, who had gathered to demand punishment for the man who they believed was responsible for hate speech against Islam on the Facebook’s Messenger app. Many were injured in the clash.

According to the case document, a Biplob Chandra Shuvo on Oct 18, 2019, had filed a general diary (GD) at the Borhanuddin Police Station, claiming that some unknown person or group had been sending a slur to his online friends which he feared might offend Muslims, after taking control of his Facebook account.

Words of the messages spread, and two days later, the mob, who were still unaware of the GD, demanded the death penalty for Shuvo.

Local administration and police, who had actively been engaging with the leaders of the mob to calm the situation, could not eventually maintain the peace and the violent clash soon erupted.

Delwar Hossain, a sub-inspector of Borhanuddin Police Station, filed a case under Digital Security Act.

The case was handed over to the Police Bureau of Investigation, or PBI, on Jan 17, 2020.

PBI later found that Bapon Das, 25, son of Bikash Das of Chachua village in Itna Upazila of Kishoreganj, had hacked Shuvo’s Facebook account and sent out the hate slurs.

Police then arrested Bapon, a professional hacker, who later gave a confessional statement before court.

Bangladesh had experienced attacks on religious minorities on allegations of insulting religion on Facebook earlier.

Fourteen temples were ransacked and more than a hundred Hindu houses looted and vandalised in Nasirnagar Upazila of Brahmanbarhia in 2016 over an alleged Facebook post insulting Islam.

Investigation revealed later that the man accused of uploading the post was actually innocent.

The next year, one person was killed and several others were injured as police opened fire on locals who torched a number of Hindu homes in Rangpur in protest against an allegedly blasphemous Facebook post.

A group of radical Islamists carried out arson attacks and looted dozens of Buddhist temples homes at Ramu in Cox’s Bazar in a similar incident in 2012.

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