10/21/2019, 10.57
BANGLADESH
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Bhola, clashes over blasphemous Facebook post leave four dead

by Sumon Corraya

The police opened fire on violent protesters. The alleged author of the post damaging to Islam denounces his profile was hacked. The blasphemy charge raises violent reactions from Islamic radicals. This time the victims are Muslims.

Bhola (AsiaNews) - Four people were killed and two more injured in clashes that took place yesterday in Borhanuddin, in the Bhola district, between policemen and protesters. The violence was triggered by the publication of a blasphemous post on Facebook. The alleged author, Biplob Chandra Shuvo, said he had no knowledge of the comment and that the post was written by someone who hacked his account to tarnish his image. The news of the offensive comment of Islam had already circulated, provoking the violent reaction of the radicals.

The victims are four young Muslims: Mizan, Mahfuz Patwari, Shaheen and Mahbub Patwari. According to Abul Kalam Azad, coroner of the Bhola Sadar hospital, they died as a result of gunshot wounds.

Sarkar Mohammad Kaisar, superintendent of the local police, said that yesterday a group of protesters organized an illegal rally to protest against the comment posted on Facebook. The post appeared on social media sites on October 18th and quickly spread through smartphone shares.

The agents intervened to disperse the crowd that had gathered without authorization. However, the protesters attacked the police, forcing them to take refuge in a building adjacent to the site of the demonstration. Then they threw stones and smashed doors and windows with sticks. According to the police reconstruction, at that point the officers opened fire for defense.

In an attempt to restore public order, the authorities deployed four BGG platoons in the Borhanuddin area [border guard, ed], including a helicopter contingent, and another from the Coast Guard. A three-member investigation committee was also formed to ascertain the responsibility for the incident.

Yesterday Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina condemned the demonstrations and invited "the people of this country to have patience. We will find those who want to move the waters creating problems and we will take appropriate measures against them ".

In Bangladesh, a country with an Islamic majority, the radicals react violently to the news of comments damaging their religious sentiments. Usually the victims are members of ethnic and religious minorities. In this case, however, the dead are all from the Muslim community.

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