One person was killed when police opened fire to ward off an angry mob that turned violent and launched an arson attack on Hindu houses at Thakurpara village in Rangpur Sadar upazila on Friday.
At least five more people were severely injured as police fired rounds of rubber bullets and tear gas shells at the angry crowd.
Before the police intervened, the aggressors had set fire to at least 30 Hindu houses of the village. They also looted and vandalised a good number of houses in that village, according to local sources.
A rumour shaped and vented the anger of the Muslims in the neighbouring villages against the Hindu community.
The rumour was that one Titu Roy, originally from Thakurpara but currently living in Narayanganj, put up a Facebook post defaming Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a few days ago.
The attack was carried out by a section among the 20,000-strong crowd, that was reportedly mustered out from six to seven neighbouring villages, including Paglapeer, Mominpur and Horialkuthi, after the Jumma prayers.
There was a melee of chases and counter chases between the law enforcers and the crowd. At one point, police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to control the situation.
Six people with bullet injuries were admitted to Rangpur Medical College Hospital. Amogn them, a youth named Hamidul Islam succumbed to his injuries later.
The angry mob later blocked the Rangpur-Dinajpur highway to protest against the police attack, halting the vehicular moment for about four hours in the afternoon.
Kotwali police station Officer-in-Charge (Operation) Moktarul Islam said they had deployed a huge number of police personnel in that area and a tense situation is still prevailing there.
The district administration has formed a three-member probe body, headed by Additional District Magistrate Abu Rafa Mohammad Rafiq, to investigate the incident. The committee has been asked to submit its report in seven days, said Rangpur Deputy Commissioner (DC) Wahiduzzaman.
The DC also mentioned that they had arranged for relief materials for the affected families in the Hindu vilalge.
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