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Hindu temples, homes vandalised in B’desh over blasphemy

At least 15 Hindu temples were vandalised in central Bangladesh as a Facebook post deemed offensive to Islam sparked massive outrage in the Muslim-majority nation, prompting authorities to take legal action on Monday.

Temples in Brahmanbarhia district’s Nasirnagar were vandalised and over 100 houses belonging to Hindus in the area swere looted on Sunday, triggering panic in the minority community. After the mayhem for hours, two temples in adjacent Habiganj’s Madhabpur also came under attack, police and witnesses said.

Police said there were no major casualties, but several priests of the temples suffered minor injuries. They added that nine arrests have been made so far. “So far, we have arrested nine persons finding their direct links to the attacks as the authorities of these temples filed two cases,” Brahmanbaria police superintendent Mizanur Rahman said.

A Hindu youth, who allegedly posted the ‘blasphemous’ content on his Facebook wall sparking the outrage, was also arrested over causing the unrest, Rahman said.

“The situation has calmed down as leaders of Muslim and Hindu communities and civil society figures jointly staged a peace rally at Nasirnagar calling for restraints,” the district police chief said.

Police and residents in the neighbourhood earlier said the social media post sparked the outrage when six temples and some 20 Hindu houses in the neighbourhood were raided. Paramilitary Border Guards Bangladesh Personnel have been deployed in Nasirnagar and Madhabpur Upazila headquarters along with the Rapid Action Battalion, police and Armed Police Battalion, bdnews24.com reported.
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