Angry mob in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat have allegedly beaten a man to death and then set his body on fire over allegations of hurting religious sentiments.
The incident took place on Burimari Union Parishad Complex premises on Thursday afternoon.
Moreover, 10 police personnel including the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Patgram police station Sumanta Kumar Mohant were injured while trying to stop the mob beating. At one point, police had fire 10 rounds of blank shots to bring the rage under control.
The deceased was identified as Shahidunnabi Jewel, son of Abdul Wajed Mia from Rangpur town.
He was a former librarian of Rangpur Cantonment Public School and College. However, he was reportedly a mentally unstable person and lost his job as librarian because of that disability.
The mob also beat up another person, Sultan Jubaer Abbas, who was accompanying Jewel during the time of the incident.
According to locals and police sources, Jewel and Abbas came to Burimari from Rangpur on a motorbike and offered Asr prayer at the mosque.
After offering prayers, they wanted to check the mosque bookshelf. While browsing, they accidently dropped a few copies of the holy Quran. Jewel quickly picked up the Quran from the floor but the Imam charged them for being ignorant and disrespectful.
When Jewel and the Imam engaged in altercation, others in the mosque quickly detained the duo and locked them up in a room of Union Parishad Complex.
Soon after the incident, rumors spread in the locality that the duo desecrated the holy Quran and hundreds of people started to gather there. At one stage, angry mob took the men away from the room and started beating them indiscriminately.
Jewel was beaten to death and his body was set on fire by mob. Abbas was also beaten and badly injured but police managed to save him.
Video footage and photographs of the incident went viral on social media later.
Lalmonirhat Deputy Commissioner Abu Zafar and Superintendent of Police (SP) Abida Sultana went to the spot with additional force and contained the situation around 10:30pm. The injured youth Abbas was admitted to a local hospital under police protection.
Lalmonirhat Deputy Commissioner Abu Zafar told reporters: "The whole incident is being investigated and legal action will be taken against people responsible after having the report. The situation is now under control. Aside from police personnel, members of Rapid Action Battalion have also been deployed in the area."
BDST: 1430 HRS, OCT 30, 2020