Saturday, 27 November, 2021

Govt takes hard line on perpetrators

450 arrested over attacks on Hindus

Law enforcement agencies, including police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have taken a hard line on the perpetrators of communal terrorism unleashed in different parts of the country.

They have launched a massive hunt for the culprits involved in vandalism and arson attacks on temples, houses and idols of the Hindu community at different districts, including Rangpur, Chattogram and Feni.

Law enforcers -- both in uniform and plain clothes -- are trying to identify and arrest the perpetrators of the vandalism and arson attacks through scrutinising video footage and collecting other information.

According to the Police Headquarters, some 450 people have so far been detained over the last five days in connection with 71 cases filed over the attacks by religious fanatics on Hindu homes, temples, businesses and Durga Puja venues.

Simultaneously, the law enforcement agencies are taking action against those who destroyed communal harmony by spreading rumours on social media.

In the face of massive drives by the lawmen, many of the culprits involved in heinous acts have reportedly gone into hiding.

 Security in different border areas has also intensified so that the perpetrators cannot flee the country, home ministry sources said.

Police, RAB, Detective Branch (DB) and Special Branch (SB) working in the capital, and units in the divisional headquarters and district headquarters have strictly been instructed to be alert to troublemakers.

At the same time, they have been asked to keep vigil regarding different Islamist militant groups, including Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkat-ul-Jihad Bangladesh (HuJI) and Ansarullah Bangla Team, as they may try to take the advantage of the situation and carry out acts of sabotage in the country. The number of cases and detainees may go up as operations are ongoing, police said.

A rumour about Holy Quran being dishonoured at a Hindu place of worship in Cumilla has ignited a series of communal attacks across the country, resulting in the deaths of six people.

In continuation of that communal conflict, Hindu villages in Rangpur’s Pirganj upazila came under attack on Sunday night over an alleged Facebook post hurting Muslims’ religious sentiment. At least 29 homes were torched in the attack.

The young Hindu man who allegedly uploaded the post was detained on Monday.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the culprits behind the arson attack on Hindu homes in Rangpur were 'identified’ and police arrested 45 suspects.

The Police Headquarters warned everyone against conspiracies to create instability by spreading rumours on social media.

The relevant police unit is monitoring social media, according to a PHQ statement, which urged the people not to trust anything without fact-checking.

Md Kamruzzaman, assistant inspector general (Media) of the Police Headquarters, said the process to file more cases over the attacks is underway. “The number of arrestees may also rise as police operations are underway to arrest those involved in the incidents.”

He also said: "Some individuals or vested groups are deliberately spreading rumours and confusion on social media to destroy the existing communal harmony in the country. In many cases, conspirators distort or misinterpret information through social media posts in an attempt to create unrest in the country."

The communal violence has erupted across the country following claims that Holy Quran was disrespected in Cumilla a few days ago.

At least six people have been killed during attacks in Chandpur, Chattogram, Noakhali, Feni and other areas.

Shortly after the Cumilla incident, members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were deployed in 22 districts to keep the law-and-order situation under control.