Bangladesh arrests man for blasphemous post against Prophet Muhammad

Dhaka, July 10 (efe-epa).– Bangladesh police on Friday arrested a man in southern Khulna city for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad on social networking site Facebook.

Police sub-inspector Rafiqul Islam said Anjon Das, a Hindu, was arrested in the morning from near Mongla Port area after a resident filed a case against him under Digital Security Act on Thursday night.

“He gave a religiously provocative post on Facebook. He deleted the post but we got a screenshot of his post. A resident of Mongla port area filed a case against him,” he said.

Islam, who is the Investigation Officer (IO) of the case, said Das is the lone accused in the case.

Molla Jahangir Hossain, the deputy commissioner of Khulna police, said Das used a “slang” in his status over Prophet Muhammad, the most revered figure in Islam.

Defaming Prophet Muhammad or Islam is highly sensitive in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where such incidents have the potential to trigger riots.

Muslims make up for 90 percent of over 165 million people of Bangladesh. Hindus are the largest minority group, making up 9 percent of the total population.

At least four people were killed and 47 injured as police clashed with a Muslim mob in southern Bhola district in October last year over an offensive Facebook post.

The clash erupted when hundreds of Muslims gathered to demand the trial of a Hindu man, who had allegedly made disrespectful Facebook comments over Prophet Muhammad.

Earlier in 2016, some 200 temples, homes, and businesses belonging to Hindus were vandalized after a Hindu man allegedly circulated a photo montage in the social networking site, depicting the Hindu god Shiva in the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest site in Islam.

Bangladesh does not have a blasphemy law but the cases of “hurting religious sentiment” were previously tried by regular laws, said senior Supreme Court lawyer Jotirmoy Barua.

Cases are being registered for some offenses now under Digital Security Act since the government enacted the law in 2018.

Rights group Amnesty International said more than 1,000 cases have been filed for various allegations under this act since it was implemented. EFE-EPA


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