Some 20,000 people took to the streets in Bangladesh to demand the death penalty for a Hindu man, who was arrested on accusations of writing a blasphemous Facebook post about Prophet Mohammed, with the protests going violent.
The police said they used live ammunition in self-defense against a crowd of Muslim worshipers, as the protesters acted aggressively and started throwing stones at the officers.
At least, four people were shot dead and up to 50 others injured, in an incident which took place at a prayer ground in the town of Borhanuddin on the country’s largest island of Bhola on Sunday. Around a dozen of those wounded were law enforcement officers, the police said.
The injured were taken to a nearby hospital where medics warned that the death toll will likely rise. At least seven people were in critical condition and fighting for their life, they told AFP.
A young Hindu man was arrested on Saturday on accusations of making a defamatory Facebook post about Muslim Prophet Mohammed and inciting religious tension.
However, the suspect denied any wrongdoing and insisted that his account was hacked. The police investigated those claims, detaining three people for allegedly meddling with the young man’s social media page.
In 2016, another Facebook post with mockery of Islam’s holiest sites saw angry crowds attacking Hindu temples in the east of Bangladesh, a country with a 90 percent Muslim population. A few years before that, a defamatory photo of the Koran resulted in Buddhist monasteries, shops and homes being set on fire.