Following attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh’s Muslim-majority nation, 450 Bangladeshi citizens were arrested by police.
Authorities logged 71 cases linked to violence during the major Hindu festival of Durga Puja across different parts of Bangladesh, the police’s assistant inspector general said on Monday.
Local media reports that 450 individuals were arrested for plotting attacks against puja venues, temples and Hindu homes, along with spreading false rumors via social media in the run-up to the holiday.
A senior officer in police said that there could be more arrests or incidents as ongoing investigations continue.
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Police in Bangladesh kill 4 protesters angered by a defamatory post on Prophet Mohammed,
On Friday, violence broke out when hundreds of Muslims demonstrated in Noakhali District over an incident that supposedly blasphemed the Koran Islamic holy scripture. Two Hindu men died following that protest, the region’s police chief told Reuters, but it was not clear if their deaths were due to “unlawful assembly, or otherwise.”
On Monday, hundreds of people demonstrated in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, calling for an end to days of religious violence that have seen at least six people dead and several injured.
The United Nations’ resident coordinator in Bangladesh, Mia Seppo, condemnedTurbulence that occurred on the same date: “Recent attacks on Hindus of Bangladesh, fueled by hate speech on social media, are against the values of the Constitution and need to stop”. Her appeal was also to the government for an impartial investigation and protection of minorities.
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In Kashmir, at least five Indian soldiers were killed in the worst violence since February.
Tensions between communities in Bangladesh where Hindus make up 10% of the population have been an issue for decades. The recent violence in religious matters is the most severe since the rise to power of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party in 2009.
A mob of thousands torched 300km away from capital a Hindu village in 2017 after being accused that one resident had posted a post on Facebook insulting the Prophet Mohammed. The attack set fire to at least 30 Hindu houses.
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