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Bangladesh

Police arrest dozens in Bangladesh for attacks on Hindus

More than 40 people have been detained in the South Asian country for instigating violence. The arrests came after a Muslim crowd vandalized several homes and temples belonging to the religious minority.

Police in Brahmanbaria district arrested dozens of suspects for their involvement in the October 30 attacks, district police chief Mizanur Rahman told reporters.

Hindus in the area were attacked after a controversial Facebook post by a Hindu man that showed the Hindu god Shiva on top of the Great Mosque in Mecca. The picture angered many Muslims who set Hindu houses on fire, prompting the government to deploy hundreds of security personnel in the predominantly Hindu village of Nasirnagar, around 90 kilometers from the capital Dhaka.

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According to the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, more than a hundred Hindu houses and 17 temples were damaged and looted since the end of October. "The purpose of the attacks is to free this soil from (a) minority community and also occupy their properties and assets," Rana Dasgupta, a member of the organization, told dpa news agency.

Many Hindu families deserted their houses after the attacks on temples and hundreds of protesters rallied in Dhaka demanding justice for the victims.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League party has expelled three of its local leaders for instigating the violence. The opposing Bangladesh Nationalist Party accused the Awami League of carrying out the attacks and demanded a judicial inquiry to punish the culprits.

Hindus are a religious minority and make for less than 10 percent of Bangladesh's 160 million People.

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mg/rc (dpa, Reuters)

 

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