Suspect Confesses Crime, Says FB Post Incited Bangladesh Violence Against Hindus
So far, 683 arrests have been made, while seven people have confessed under the pre-trial legal proceedings.
A key suspect and his accomplice accused of inciting hatred through social media and instigating the recent violence against the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh confessed to their crime in a pre-trial hearing on Sunday, 24 October, a court official said.
Shaikat Mandal, the key suspect, confessed before a magistrate that it was his Facebook post that led to the violence in Rangpur, Pirganj sub-district, on 17 October, news agency PTI reported.
Meanwhile, Rabiul Islam, Mandal's accomplice, is a 36-year-old cleric who has been accused of arson and looting. Both of them have been booked under the Digital Security Act after they were arrested on 22 October.
What Led to the Violence?
Mandal, who is a philosophy department student of Rangpur's Carmichael College had uploaded objectionable content on Facebook to boost his follower count, a Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) official was quoted as saying in a bdnews24.com report.
Mandal’s accomplice instigated Muslims in the village through announcements on the loudspeaker on Friday, the official added.
Following this, a rumour spread in the village about a Hindu man who posted religiously offensive content on Facebook, as per the report.
The court official was quoted as saying, "Shaikat Mandal and his accomplice Rabiul Isam have admitted their role before a senior judicial magistrate Delwar Hossain in (north-western) Rangpur”.
Around 70 Hindu homes were torched during the violence on 17 October, as per the police.
So far, 683 arrests have been made, while at least seven people have confessed under the pre-trial legal proceedings, PTI reported.
Further, over 70 cases have been filed accusing 24,000 suspects, most of whom were anonymous, as per reports.
For another incident, Iqbal Hossain, who had allegedly placed the Quran at a Durga Puja venue in Cumilla, and Fayez Ahmed, who had posted a video of the same, are also under police custody.
While members of minority communities staged a mass hunger and sit-in demonstration at central Dhaka's Shabagh area on Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked people not to trust anything on social media without fact-checking.
(With inputs from PTI and bdnews24.com)
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