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4 killed as police-locals clash over hacked facebook status in Bhola

Published : Monday, 21 October, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 712
Our Correspondent

Bhola, 10 Oct: At least four people were killed and over 100 others injured in a clash between police and local people over a hacked facebook status in Borhanuddin Upazila on Sunday.
The clash took a serious turn as the local administration failed to tackle the situation, said a local of the Upazila.
Dr Abul Kalam Azad, Medical Officer of Bhola Sadar Hospital, confirmed the deaths of four people.
The deceased were identified as Mizan, Mahfuz Patwari, Shaheen and Mahbub Patwari.
Thirty people who suffered bullet wounds during the clash were admitted to Barishal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital, said Dr Abul Hasnat Russell at the hospital's emergency department.
All of them were admitted to the hospital in between 1:30 pm and 5pm, he added.
Sarkar Mohammad Kaisar, Superintendent of Bhola Police, told journalist said local people turned furious over the offensive remarks about Prophet Muhammad from a facebook ID of Biplab Chandra Shuvo, a local man.
"The clash took place over the facebook status on October 18. We detained all those involved in ID hacking," he said.
The facebook account of Biplob Chandra Shuvo was hacked by someone and a derogatory remark about Prophet Muhammad was posted, said the SP.
All arrestees are now in custody. "We sat in a meeting with local influential people, public representatives, imams and Alems who had assured  us that they wouldn't hold their scheduled protest programme on Sunday," he said.
But, on Sunday they started taking preparations to hold the programme and then police appeared at the scene, the SP said.
"When we're leaving the place after the rally, some people started throwing brick chips at us forcing us to take shelter in an adjoining building and fireD blank shots," the SP said.
Meanwhile, one platoon of BGB troops was sent to the spot in helicopters while another three platoons were sent by road to quell the situation," said Md Shariful Islam, public relations officer at the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) headquarters.
Besides, one platoon of Bangladesh Coast Guard had been deployed on the spot, said Lt Hayat-Ibne-Siddique, Media Officer of the Coast Guard Headquarters.  
Md Enamul Haque, Officer-in-Charge of Borhanuddin Police Station, said Biplob on Saturday came to the police station to file a general diary claiming that his Facebook account had been hacked.
"Biplob also said someone demanded extortion from him over mobile phone," he said.
The local administration and police took initiatives to stymie the simmering tension by engaging with the communities and keeping the accused in safety custody but a quarter continued to fuel it.
Meanwhile, AKM Ehsanullah, an additional DIG of Barishal Range, said  police and local administration calmed the situation on Saturday night consulting with local Imam, religious leaders, people's representatives and local personalities.
But, in no time on Sunday morning, a group of people built a stage and set up 17 loudspeakers, and a section of them was violent.
Soon, 30,000-40,000 people gathered there. As police tried to calm them down, the protesters targeted police, throwing brick-chips at them and forcing them to take shelter in a nearby room.
They broke the door partially, but could not get in, the additional DIG said. "We used mattress as a shield to save us. Had they entered the room, they would have killed me, SP and upazila nirbahi officer," he said.
The UNO then informed the situation to deputy commissioner, who permitted the top local officials to come out safely by firing.  "We had no option, but to open fire."

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