2 men confess to inciting Bangladesh violence through Facebook post, loudspeaker

The Bangladesh Police have 693 people in connection with the violence. More than 70 cases have been being filed against 24,000 suspects, most of whom were anonymous. At least seven people have confessed to their crime under the pre-trial legal proceedings so far.
ISKON priests hold placards during a protest against violence in Bangladesh.(ANI File Photo)
ISKON priests hold placards during a protest against violence in Bangladesh.(ANI File Photo)
Published on Oct 25, 2021 08:33 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Two men, accused of spreading communal hatred on social media in Bangladesh, have admitted to their crimes, a court said on Monday. The violence against the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh broke out on October 13 during the Durga Puja festivities after an alleged blasphemous post on social media. The mayhem continued for a few days and spread to other parts of the country.

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During one such incident, around 70 Hindu homes were torched in Rangpur, in Pirganj sub-district, on October 17, police said. The two accused men - Shaikat Mandal and his accomplice Rabiul Islam - were accused fanning communal hatred on social media and instigating the violence in Rangpur. They confessed to their crime in a pre-trial hearing on Monday.

“Shaikat Mandal and his accomplice Rabiul Isam have admitted their role before a senior judicial magistrate Delwar Hossain in (north-western) Rangpur,” an official of the court told mediapersons.

They were among the 693 people arrested by the Bangladesh Police in connection with the violence. Both the men were picked up from Gazipur on Friday in a police raid and booked under the Digital Security Act.

Mandal was a philosophy department student of Rangpur's Carmichael College. He was expelled from the ruling Awami League's student wing Chhatra League after his arrest. Thirty-six-year-old Islam, meanwhile, is a cleric.

A Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) official told bdnews24.com that Mandal uploaded objectionable content on Facebook to boost his follower count, while Islam instigated Muslims in the village through announcements on the loudspeaker.

At least seven people have confessed to their crime under the pre-trial legal proceedings so far. More than 70 cases have been being filed against 24,000 suspects, most of whom were anonymous.

The police said last week that they have identified the man who placed the Quran in one of the Durga Puja pandals in Comilla on October 13, which triggered violence and led to the killing of three people. He has been identified as 35-year-old Iqbal Hossain from Sujanagar area of the city and is under police custody.

Dhaka watchers said there is a strong possibility that rabid Islamists belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, who are supporters of the Taliban, would be behind this orchestration of communal violence. The Sheikh Hasina government is trying to unearth the conspiracy and piece together the evidence, they added.

The attacks on the Hindus in Bangladesh have been widely condemned by the United Nations.

Hindus constitute around 10 per cent of the Muslim-majority Bangladesh's 169 million population.

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Friday, December 03, 2021