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Bangladesh: Cyber cafe owner, alleged mastermind of attack on temples, arrested

Thirty-year-old Jahangir Alam was arrested as police investigations confirmed his crucial role in the mobilising Islamists to carry out the attacks.

world Updated: Nov 29, 2016 17:48 IST
Bangladesh temple attacks,Jahangir Alam,Attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh
Bangladeshi social activists hold a banner and participate in a rally held to protest against recent communal violence in the country, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016.(AP)

A cyber cafe owner has been arrested in Bangladesh for allegedly masterminding attacks on Hindu temples and houses earlier this month, authorities said on Tuesday.

Police said the accused, arrested on Monday night, could have hacked the Facebook account of a Hindu youth and posted images of Hindu gods over those of Muslim holy shrines to instigate violence.

“We arrested him last night from the (Brahmanbaria) town. He was on the run and we believe he is one of the main culprits,” police official Mizanur Rahman told PTI on phone.

He said 30-year-old Jahangir Alam, a cyber cafe owner, was arrested as police investigations confirmed his crucial role in the mobilising Islamists to carry out the attacks while “we are now trying to be certain if he himself had hacked the Hindu youth’s Facebook account”.

“But we can tell you, he is the man who prepared handbills copying the controversial image (to be distributed among ordinary people) and hired trucks to carry the attackers to the scene at Nasirnagar (in Brahmanbaria),” Rahman said.

The district police chief’s comments came as a court ordered Alam to be interrogated in custody for four days as he was brought before a magistrate.

Officials said Alam was the last among the detained suspects while police earlier arrested over 100 people for their alleged involvement in Nasirnagar attacks when the Islamists carried out two subsequent attacks ravaging nearly a dozen temples and over 20 houses.

Police had announced a bounty for information leading to the capture of the perpetrators of the attacks amid mounting protests demanding action against the culprits.

First Published: Nov 29, 2016 17:48 IST