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Bangladesh: Muslim mob beats Muslim man to death and then burn his body after rumours of blasphemy in a mosque

The deceased has been identified as a 50-year old Shahidunnabi Jewel. The victim, accompanied by his friend Sultan Jubaer Abbas had gone to Burimari Jam-e Masjid to offer Asr Namaaz.

On Thursday, a man was lynched to death by a fanatic mob on the premises of Burimari Union Parishad at Patgram Upazila in Lalmonirhat district of Rangpur Division in Bangladesh over charges of blasphemy.

As per reports, the deceased has been identified as a 50-year old Shahidunnabi Jewel. A resident of Rangpur and an ex-employee of Rangpur Cantonment Public School, Jewel was said to be suffering from a mental condition. The victim, accompanied by his friend Sultan Jubaer Abbas had gone to Burimari Jam-e Masjid to offer Asr Namaaz.

They had claimed that Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen terrorists were hiding inside the mosque. The duo wanted to check the bookshelf inside the mosque. However, the locals alleged that they failed to uphold the ‘sanctity’ of the Quran and detained the two. Activist Taslima Nasreen said on Facebook that the crime was triggered after the victim accidentally stepped on the Quran.

The victim was snatched by the fanatic mob over blasphemy charges in Bangladesh

Jewel and his friend Abbas was then kept confined at the Union Parishad Council Bhaban by a fellow union member, Hafizul Islam. Soon, several people gathered around the venue took Jewel out of his custody. Superintendent of Police (SP) Adida Sultana informed, “One of the men went inside the mosque with the Khadim, Zubed Ali, before searching the bookshelf at the prayer hall claiming that firearms were hidden behind Quran and Hadith books.”

Ali said, “The man started to search the bookshelf. At one point, five or six worshippers, who were outside the mosque, entered and dragged the man to the stairs outside before starting to beat him and the other man was waiting outside the hall. Soon after [UP] Member Hafizul Islam intervened and took the men away from there. I don’t know what happened to them after that.” In his defence, Hafizul Islam said, “We tried to keep them in our custody. But the mob stormed the building and snatched one of them.” At the same time, Patgram Upazila Council Chairman Ruhul Amin Babul and Burimari UP Chairman SM Newaz Nishat were called in to pacify the situation.

Police deployed in the area

Although the police were successful in ensuring the security of Abbas, the unruly mob took away Jewel, assaulted him brutally and set him ablaze on the main road of Burimari Bazar. Besides, the mob also vandalised the adjoining National Bank Office, and torched the Burimari Union Parishad building. Following the incident, the district administration deployed additional police forces and Rapid Action Battalion in the area.

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