B'desh police arrest 300 for attacks on Buddhist temples
Dhaka: Nearly 300 people have been arrested in Bangladesh for their suspected involvement in attacks on 11 Buddhist temples over an anti-Islam post on Facebook, sparking worst violence against the minority community in the Muslim majority country.
"Thirteen cases were lodges naming 1,000 people and we arrested so far some 300 people, 73 of them in the past 24 hours as manhunt is underway for the suspects," additional police superintendent Babul Akhtar told PTI.
During the attacks on Saturday night, a mob torched 11 Buddhist temples, damaged two others and ransacked at least 30 homes of Buddhist at southeastern Ramu town.
Earlier, the officer-in-charge of Ramu Police Station was transfered for his failure to protect the temples.
Security has been beefed up around the Buddhist neighbourhoods at Ramu and nearby areas under the Cox's Bazar district.
"We will not leave the scene until the confidence of the Buddhist community is restored completely," Lieutenant Colonel Khalequzzaman of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) told newsmen.
A local journalist reached here by phone said that army troops erected tents for makeshift refuge of the Buddhists whose homes were damaged in the attacks.
Home minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir earlier said police and security agencies were asked to keep a vigil on Myanmar's Muslim Rohingyas who took refuge in Bangladesh after their bloody ethnic conflict with majority Buddhist community in eastern Rakhine state.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered stern punitive actions against the attacker’s calling the incident part of a plot to destroy the traditional communal harmony in the country.
The incident came as the controversial anti-Islam film outraged many people in pre-dominantly Muslim Bangladesh in recent days while the protesters apparently were also prompted by the violence over the cross border Rakhine state in Buddhist majority Myanmar that recently witnessed a sectarian violence against Muslims.