Bangladesh: Hindu Households Ignited in Nasirnagar due to a Facebook Post that kindled Communal Tension

The unrest caused is a result of a Facebook post by a local youth, Rasraj Das, which was considered defamatory

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Bangladesh, November 5, 2016: Amidst the tension and chaos over the attacks on Hindu community, anonymous assailants incinerate five houses in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria district in Bangladesh on Friday. The attacks took place around 3AM and then around 6:30PM.

The razed homes were in the villages of Banikpara, Jaynagar Pashchimpara and Hashpatalpara. The houses were lighted up around 3am but there were no casualties or injuries. The villagers from these neighboring villages said, the fire started in sheds and kitchens. The next attack was around 6:30pm in Chotipara under the Gukorno union.

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A respected resident, Manoranjan Banik told Dhaka Tribune about the close call he had with the fire in his household in Banikpara. He says that he has never felt such helplessness in his life. The attack happened a while after they had returned from a funeral, his daughter told Dhaka Tribune.

In Hashpatalpara, a son alerted his family after discovering a fire in the kitchen which was next to his room. He told Dhaka tribune that he woke up on smelling fire and then alerted everyone in the house.

On investigating the scenes, the Upazila Nirbahi Officer Chowdhury Md Moazzem Hossain said that although 11 homes were burnt, the crimes took place in 5 of them out of which one had a shrine.

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The unrest caused is a result of a Facebook post by a local youth, Rasraj Das, which was considered defamatory. The attacks occurred even after Das apologized and claimed that his account had been hacked. The assaults were incited by mosques which announced through megaphones in their areas telling the people how a Hindu had defamed the Holy Kaaba. The locals told the Dhaka Tribune that they heard declarations in several villages out of which Norpur, Asurain and Phulpur are home to Muslim radicals.

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The escalating violence has left the people distraught. They fear that the next wave of attacks might be a direct hit on their lives instead of their households or properties. Many families have relocated or crossed the border after the attacks. The ones who have not are caged inside their homes because of the terror of attacks. The Hindus who did not flee during the 1971 Liberation War after many of them were slaughtered now think it was their last chance to escape and save themselves.

– prepared by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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