Violent protests over a photo deemed as defaming Islam have grappled Bangladesh, the latest occurrence of Muslim outrage following weeks of unrest, AFP reports.
A Buddhist temple and dozens of homes in Ramu were set ablaze by 25,000 rioters over a photo posted on Facebook allegedly uploaded by a young Buddhist man showing a burnt Koran, the sacred book of Islam, officials said.
The angry mob ravaged at least 100 Buddhist houses and temples from midnight to Sunday morning, according to district administrator Joinul Bari. Rioters burned down 11 wooden temples, including two 300-year old temples, and looted precious items and Buddha statues, local journalist Sunil Barua said. “Shops owned by Buddhists were also looted,” the journalist added. Authorities reportedly imposed a curfew and banned public gatherings while security forces are patrolling the areas.
AFP reports that the man accused of posting the inflammatory image is in protective custody, along with his mother and aunt. He denied uploading the photo and claimed that someone had “tagged” the picture to his account.