2 arrested for inciting attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh
5 people killed, dozens of Hindu temples, properties attacked in communal violence in Bangladesh in past 10 days
Two people who played a central role in the anti-Hindu violence that rocked Bangladesh last week were arrested on Friday night, authorities said.
Prime accused Saikat Mondal and his associate Rabiul Islam instigated the arson attacks on temples and dozens of homes and shops owned by Hindus in the northern district of Rangpur, a spokesperson for the special unit Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) told reporters on Saturday.
Communal tensions have soared in Bangladesh since last week after the alleged desecration of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, at a Hindu festival.
The unrest was sparked by a viral social media image of the Quran placed on a statue at a Hindu temple in eastern Bangladesh.
It led to attacks on Hindus and their temples and properties across the country, claiming at least five lives and leaving over 100 people injured.
However, on Thursday, authorities nabbed a Muslim man, identified as Iqbal Hossain, who was seen in surveillance footage placing the Quran in the temple in Comilla district.
The RAB spokesperson said Mondal and Islam “admitted to their involvement in attacking and burning Hindu houses and spreading propaganda on social media to instigate communal unrest.”
On reports that Mondal is part of the ruling Awami League party’s student wing, the official said investigators have found no evidence of his “direct involvement” in political activities.