Religious violence simmers in Bangladesh

On October 15, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the south-eastern Noakhali region to protest the alleged blasphemy act that prompted the religious violence.

At least six people got killed and numerous more have been injured in continuing sectarian violence that erupted after social media posts regarding an alleged Quran sacrilege at a Durga Puja pandal.

According to local media reports, six people were killed in the confrontations, including two Hindu men, while dozens of homes were damaged. 450 individuals were detained, according to police.

Hundreds of Muslims rallied in the southeastern Noakhali area on October 15 over the allegedly blasphemous incident, which sparked the violence.

As per Mohammed Shahidul Islam, the police chief in Noakhali, two Hindu men were killed in the violence following the protest.

Several Hindu holy places have been targeted in recent days, according to Bangladesh’s home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan, who claims the attacks are aimed at undermining the country’s communal peace.

Hindus make up about 10% of the population of the Muslim-majority country.

India monitoring the situation closely

After violence erupted during the religious celebrations, the Indian High Commissioner paid a visit to the Durga Puja Pandals.

The High Commissioner interacted with the affected people. This was primarily done to assuage their fears.

The Bangladesh government has also made an effort to ensure security, according to the High Commission.

An alleged act of blasphemy reported on social sparked violence

The violence was sparked over an alleged blasphemy incident at a Durga Puja site in Cumilla, which resulted in vandalism of Hindu temples and confrontations between vandals and police in Cumilla, Chandpur, Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Moulvibazar, Gazipur, Chapainawabganj, Feni, and other districts.

According to authorities, a group of arsonists set fire to 20 Hindu homes in a hamlet in Rangpur’s Pirgonj district.

Four Muslim protestors were killed in clashes with police in Haziganj, the worst-affected area, while the body of a Hindu devotee was recovered in a pond in neighbouring Begumbanj in the Noakhali district.

According to the local reports, dozens of people have been arrested in connection with the attacks.

Bangladesh’s governing party holds a rally in support of Hindus

After the deadliest outbreaks of religious violence in the country, thousands of members of Bangladesh’s governing party marched in support of the country’s embattled minority Hindus.

The Awami League, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, staged a protest in the capital Dhaka on Tuesday, with thousands walking along a four-kilometre (2.5-mile) stretch in the city centre, asking for an end to the violence.

Religious violence denounced

Meanwhile, the violence has been denounced by the United States and the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh.

The right to freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental human right, the US State Department spokesperson said. It was also stated that everyone across the world, regardless of religious affiliation or belief, should feel secure and supported to celebrate key holidays.

Mia Seppo, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, described the attacks as being against the Constitution of Bangladesh.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) also requested UN and other global leaders’ assistance.

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