Hindu Sangbad, a Bangladesh news agency, wrote on Twitter, “There was a peaceful protest by Shahbagh and various Hindu organizations across the country against the barbaric radical jihadi attack on Hindus in Narail Sahapara.”
Earlier, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that the government will ensure strict action against those who disturb communal harmony in the country.
So far none of the attackers have been arrested.
The Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also directed the Interior Ministry to investigate the attacks and determine whether there was negligence in stopping them. The NHRC also said that violence is not acceptable under any circumstances in a “secular country”.
According to ANI, the human rights body’s remarks came after reports of attacks on Hindu minorities in Bangladesh surfaced amid rumors of a purported Facebook post defaming Islam.
On July 15, houses of Hindu minorities were torched in Sahapara area of Lohagada, Narail.
After Friday prayers, the crowd created a ruckus alleging that an 18-year-old from the neighborhood had hurt their religious sentiments on Facebook. Locals allege that the post was made by Akash Saha, an 18-year-old college student from the village. According to the Daily Star report, they gathered after the Friday prayers and protested in front of the student’s house demanding his arrest.
As soon as he was missing, the mob spread to neighboring homes of Hindu minorities – homes of people who had nothing to do with the Facebook post. According to the Daily Star report, Deepali Rani Saha, one of the victims of the violence, shared the incidents of vandalism, whose house was burnt down.
“One group robbed all our valuables, another group came and found our door open. Since there was nothing left to rob, they set our house on fire.”
“I don’t know how long this menace of violence will haunt us. Who will give us justice? Who will give us protection? … If I set the house on fire, I would die. God saved me. But is it worth living? Is there any way? I only have saree on my body now.”
According to the Daily Star report, three houses and dozens of shops were vandalized or set on fire in Sahapara village, among them Deepali’s property.
Police on Friday detained Akash’s father Ashok Saha to “bring the situation under control” while they were preparing to file a case against Akash under the Digital Security Act.