Dhaka, November 11: At least 30 houses of Hindus were set on fire in Bangladesh by a mob of protesters following rumours that a youth from the minority community published an offensive Facebook status.
One person was killed when police opened fire to disperse the crowd that launched the arson attack on the houses of Hindus yesterday, Dhaka Tribune reported. The incident took place in Rangpur district's Thakurpara village, about 300 km from Dhaka.
At least five persons were injured when police fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas shells to bring the situation under control, it said.
The protesters claimed that they were infuriated by a defamatory status published from the Facebook account of a person who hails from the Thakurbari village a few days ago, the report said.
Before the police intervened, the perpetrators had torched at least 30 Hindu houses before looting and vandalising them, the report said. A crowd of 20,000 people had reportedly gathered from six to seven neighbouring villages before the attack was launched by a group of people, it said.
The police had a tough time dealing with the protesters and restoring the law and order situation in the area, the report said. Six persons with bullet injuries were rushed to a nearby hospital when one of them succumbed to his injuries, the report said.
Police have detained 33 people in connection with the incident, bdnews24 reported.
There were traffic snarls after the mob blocked the Rangpur-Dinajpur highway to protest against the police action.
A large number of police personnel have been deployed in the area where the situation was tense, Kotwali police station Officer-in-Charge (Operation) Moktarul Islam said.
The district administration has formed a three-member inquiry committee, headed by Additional District Magistrate Abu Rafa Mohammad Rafiq, to investigate the incident and submit a report in seven days, the report added.