Nearly 100 Hindu houses in Sunamganj, Bangladesh destroyed by followers of Hefazat-e-Islam in a dastardly attack

Thousands of Hefazat-e-Islam supporters attacked a Hindu village in Shalla upazila of Sunamganj on Wednesday morning. The purported reason for the attack was a Facebook post by a Hindu man criticizing Hefazat-e-Islam leader General Mawlana Mufti Mamunul Haque.

The pre-planned attack took place after Hefazat-e-Islam’s Amir Allama Junaid Babunagari, Joint-Secretary General Mawlana Mufti Mamunul Haque and several other central leaders attended a conference at Derai upazila on Monday, where they announced that the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi would not be welcomed in Bangladesh and they will not allow him to inaugurate the statue of ‘Bangabandhu’ during his visit.

Enraged by Mawlana Mamunul Haque’s speech at the conference, a young Hindu man from Naogaon, Shalla upazila allegedly made a Facebook post criticizing Mamunul and other speakers. Attackers allege that a morphed photo of Mamunul was also shared, a charge which the youth denies. He says that his account was hacked and he was not able to access his profile when the photo was shared.

The content of the post in his name was shared widely and soon a 1000-strong mob with crude weapons attacked the Hindu village on Wednesday. Hefazat leaders in the area had already staged a protest on Tuesday night, accusing the post and the Hindu youth of inciting religious violence. Soon, the Hindus of the village handed over the youth to the local police.

Shalla Upazila Nirbahi Officer Al Muktadir Hossain said in a public statement that the accused youth had been arrested and handed over to the law enforcement for ‘insulting’ Mawlana Mamunul Haque on Facebook. Legal action is being taken against him, reports Dhaka Tribune.

However, several thousand followers of Hefazat leader Mamunul Haque from Kashipur, Nachni, Chandipur and some other Muslim-majority villages gathered in Noagaon village at around 9am on Wednesday and attacked the homes of local Hindus.

Habibpur union Chairman Vivekananda Majumder Bakul said several houses in the village had been attacked. Many local Hindus fled their homes to save themselves. Grabbing this opportunity, the followers of Hefazat-e-Islam entered the village, ransacked and looted many houses. They also desecrated the idols inside the family temples.

According to local reports, nearly 100 houses were vandalized in the incident.

Large posse of police as well as RAB members were deployed to the spot to control the situation but the damage was done before the reinforcements came in. Though Bangladesh police say that the situation is calm and most of the Hindus who fled the area had returned, sources say most Hindus prefered to defer their return and many are contemplating relocating to a safer place permanently.

The administration has requested the people of Shalla to be patient and refrain from any kind of animosity, revenge and provocative activities.

Bangladesh Chhatra League Dhaka University chapter on Thursday staged a protest rally demanding the immediate arrest of those who carried out the attack on the minority Hindu community ain Sunamganj.

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