Four people recently got killed in a riot in Bangladesh after the police fired on a crowd. Reports say that the clash erupted after a Facebook post has gone viral criticizing the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
The said offensive post was published Friday from an account of a 25-year-old Hindu man in the area, as per Shafin Mohammed, additional superintendent of police in Bhola. However, according to the man in question, his Facebook account was just hacked. Hence, he isn’t the one to be blame for all the chaos caused by the post.
As the post started drawing attention online, senior police and district officials decided to meet with religious leaders of the region to try to calm the situation and reassure the citizens that action was already being taken. However, an angry crowd gathered right away the next day, demanding justice.
According to the police, they had no plan to apply deadly force to the protesters as the protest was calm at first. Yet, some people in the crowd started becoming violent. Some even threw stones and bricks, which they got from the nearby construction work, at the officers.
Trying to save themselves, the police locked themselves in a room in a nearby compound, as per AKM Ehsanulla, a senior police official in the Barisal Range, Bangladesh. According to him, the police initially fired pellet guns to try to disperse the crowd after the protesters tried to break into the room where the police were taking refuge. “The door was about to be broken. The window grill was almost broken,” Ehsanulla explained. Because of this, they even had to put a mattress against the window.
Officers then requested to use live rounds. “Our heads would have been crushed by bricks… If they get inside, we would all have died,” Ehsanullah argued. Dozens got injured after.
Meanwhile, the Hindu man in question filed a police complaint denying he posted the comment which resulted to such mayhem. He also claimed explained that he was even being blackmailed by the hacked, demanding money and threatening him to publish more damaging posts if he will not give him funds. And indeed, the man being questioned seems to be innocent as Ehsanullah said three people had been arrested over the alleged hacking incident.