Dhaka – At least one person was killed and dozens others were wounded in clashes between police and radical Islamists over a controversial social media post in northern Bangladeshi district of Rangpur.
Police identified the deceased as Habibur Rahman, one of the protesters who allegedly attacked Hindu homes in Harkali Thakurpara village of Gangachara sub-district.
The 30-year old man died at a hospital as he was injured during the clashes, officer Saifur Rahman said.
He added police fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse the mob after they torched at least eight homes owned by the Hindus in the village and blocked a major highway that connect the capital Dhaka with major northern districts.
The scene is more than 270 kilometers northwest of the capital Dhaka.
The Muslims accused a Hindu man of the village of undermining Islam as a religion by putting a controversial post on the social media site, said Zinnat Ali, officer-in-charge of Gangachara police station.
The protesters, who gathered after the Friday prayers demanding arrest of the Hindu man, locked in clashes with the police as they tried to restore order, he said adding that 40 others were injured during the clashes.
Deputy Commissioner of Rangpur Muhammad Wahiduzzaman said that the Hindu man shown disregard to Prophet Muhammad in his writing causing anger among the local Muslims.
Imam at a local mosque also passed sermon during the Friday prayers to get the Muslims united and launch protest against such comment, he said.
Hindus are a religious minority in Muslim-majority Bangladesh. Less than 10 per cent of the 160 million nation’s inhabitants are Hindus.
Hundreds of radical Muslims in eastern Brahmanbaria district vandalized Hindu homes and temples over a similar controversial social media post by another Hindu man in October last year.
The man was later found innocent by the investigators. Police arrested nearly 100 people for their involvement in the attacks.