A man has been killed and at least 20 other injured in a clash that ensued at Thakurbari village in Rangpur Sadar upazila over a Facebook post that has been alleged to have demeaned Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh).
The deceased has been identified as Hasan, a resident of the area.
Titu Chandra, a resident of Thakurbari village, posted a picture on his Facebook account around 8/9 days back with derogatory remarks about Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), said Saifur Rahman, additional superintendent of police (Circle A), quoting locals.
After Jummah prayer, several hundred people gathered at Pagla Pirer Bazar, adjacent to Thakurbari village, and started chanting slogans demanding immediate arrest of Titu Chandra, added ASP Saifur.
Soon after, around 8,000 people from nearby villages thronged the bazaar and marched towards Thakurbari village, a Hindu-dominated area.
Upon reaching the village at around 3:00pm, the agitated people vandalized and torched the house of Titu Chandra. Two more adjacent houses were also burnt down in the incident.
Informed about the mishap, police rushed in, charged baton, fired rubber bullets and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the agitating people, leaving six people injured with bullets.
Among the injured were Hasan, Alim, Jamil and Mahbubul.
One of the injured, Hasan, succumbed to his injuries while being taken to Rangpur Medical College Hospital, Saifur said.
Four policemen were also injured during the clash, added the ASP.
Later, the angry mob blocked Rangpur-Syedpur road and vandalised several moving vehicles.
Saifur said additional police personnel were called in to bring the situation under control.
Asked about the matter, Pagla Pir Jame Masjid Operations Committee member Rafiqul Islam master said, “A Hindu youth posted a photo on Facebook demeaning the Prophet (pbuh) about 8 to 9 days back. Locals took out a procession on Tuesday demanding immediate arrest of the youth.’
The agitated people then went to the police super and demanded his arrest within 24 hours, he added.
“However, he was not arrested and people against took out a procession on Friday when the police barged in. The incident of arson happened in the meantime,” stated Rafiqul Islam.
Additional police units have been called to action to thwart any further unbecoming incident.