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Bangladesh: Hindu teacher suspended after being accused of blasphemy by Muslim students. Here is what we know so far

Newton Sarkar, a biology teacher at the Deyapara Model Secondary School in Bangladesh was suspended after Muslim students accused him of making 'offensive remarks' against Islam and Prophet Muhammad while teaching science to 8th-standard students.

A Hindu school teacher by the name of Newton Sarkar was suspended after being accused of insulting Islam by his Muslim students in Abhaynagar in Jessore district in the Khulna Division of Bangladesh. As per a report by BDNews24, Sarkar is a resident of Bahadurpur village of Jessore.

He worked as a biology teacher at the Deyapara Model Secondary School. On January 25 this year, he was accused of making ‘offensive remarks’ against Islam and Prophet Muhammad while teaching science to 8th-standard students.

The Muslim students in his class lodged a complaint with the school principal, accusing the Hindu teacher of committing blasphemy. The Principal told the agitated students to go home and that he would take necessary action in this regard.

Given that the school was closed between January 26-28 on the occasion of Saraswati Puja, the hullabaloo over the matter had taken a back seat. But on Sunday (January 29), a large mob of ‘angry’ students, parents and Islamic clerics stormed into the school.

The administration gave in to their demands and temporarily suspended the Hindu teacher in a bid to pacify the situation. The development was confirmed by the Abhaynagar upazila secondary education officer, Shahidul Islam.

Meanwhile, a 3-member committee has been formed by the school administration to look into the matter and submit a report on it in 3 working days. While speaking about the matter, Newton Sarkar dismissed the allegations levelled at him by his Muslim students.

“I only talked about science in class. I even told students to honour all deities with respect. They quoted me out of context. I cannot understand why did they do it to me,” he told BDNews24.

Muslim mob destroys houses of Hindus over blasphemy allegations

On January 15 evening, a mob of Islamists vandalised the residence of a Hindu family in Uttar Kandi village in Kotalipara upazila in Gopalganj district in Dhaka Division of Bangladesh.

As per reports, the violent mob accused a Hindu youth of committing blasphemy and ‘hurting’ the religious sentiments of the local Muslims over a Facebook post.

Soon after Islamists descended on the residence of his extended family and destroyed the property. According to Dhaka Tribune, no casualties were reported after the targeted attack.

As per a report by The Daily Star, a total of 8 shops and 4 houses belonging to the Hindu community were attacked. In a bid to pacify the situation, a large contingent of police has been deployed in the Uttar Kandi village.

The Hindu boy, now accused of blasphemy by radical Islamists, has reportedly been living in India for the past 7 years. Moreover, his other family members including his mother and sister had also moved to India about 3 months ago.

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Duttahttps://dibakardutta.in/
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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