3 more arrested in Bangladesh over attack on Hindu village; 33 held so far

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Dhaka [Bangladesh], March 21 (ANI): Police have detained three more suspects in connection with the attack on Hindu homes at Noagaon village in Bangladesh's Sunamgan district.

Thousands of hardline Islamist organisation Hefazat-e-Islam supporters on Wednesday had attacked a Hindu village in Sunamgan after a Hindu man criticised the group joint-secretary general Mawlana Mufti Mamunul's speech in a social media post.

The three new suspects were apprehended at villages in Derai upazila of the district during an overnight drive, Shalla police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Nazmul Haque said on Sunday, reported Dhaka Tribune.

33 people have been arrested over the incident so far, he said.

The prime suspect, Shahidul Islam Swadhin, was apprehended at Gurabhui village on Saturday. He has been produced before a court in Sunamganj with a remand petition for his interrogation.

Two cases were filed with Shalla police station over the incident. One of the cases was lodged by police against 1,500 unidentified people while the other case, which named Swadhin as an instigator, was filed by Habibpur Union Parishad Chairman Vivekananda Majumder, Dhaka Tribune reported.

A young Hindu man from Noagaon, Shalla upazila allegedly made a Facebook post criticizing Mamunul, who opposed the sculpture of Bangabandhu on Tuesday.

After this, a mob with makeshift weapons attacked the village on Wednesday, Dhaka Tribune reported.

According to the police, 70-80 houses were vandalized in the incident. The Hindu man was detained the same night to calm the Hefazat supporters, said Officer-in-Charge Nazmul Haque.

Habibpur union chairman Vivekananda Majumder Bakul said several houses in the village had been attacked. Many local Hindus fled their homes to save themselves. The followers of Hefazat-e-Islam entered the village, ransacked and looted many houses.

An umbrella platform for ulema (religious scholars), Hefazat-e-Islam was established in 2010 in Chittagong ostensibly to defend Islam from ruling Awami League's allegedly anti-Islamic policies, especially a proposed policy to confer equal inheritance rights to women. (ANI)