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Villlagers flee fearing arrest

2000 sued, 58 held

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Md Joynal Abedin Khan with Mintu Abdur Rahman :
Thousands of people, mainly adults, left their villages in fear of more arrest because of cases filed in connection with the arson attacks on the several houses of Hindus in Thakurbari village in Rangpur district on Friday.
Police on Saturday filed two cases with Gangachara and Kotwali Police Stations  against 2,000 unnamed people in connection with attacks in the Hindu-dominated village.
Officer-in-Charge (investigation) of Kotwali Police Station Abdul Aziz and the OC of Gangachara Police Station Zinnat Ali confirmed the news of arrests and cases on Saturday. Thakurbari is located in bordering areas of Rangpur Sadar and Gangachara upazilas in the district.   
More than 1,500 people of the Hindu community, including women and children, formed a human chain on both sides of Dinajpur-Rangpur highway around 10:30am, demanding exemplary punishment to the attackers and compensation for the Hindu families. A total of 58 people, including some local Jammat leaders, were detained so far in this incident, said our local correspondent quoting Superintendent of Police (SP) Mizanur Rahman.
Jamaat-e-Islami activists led the arson attacks to create unrest ahead of the next Parliamentary elections, the SP said after inspecting the scene on Saturday.
"The individual killed in the clash with police and most of those detained over the violence are local Jamaat activists," he said.
We are trying to arrest the man who allegedly posted picture defaming Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) recently, he added.
The district administration formed a three-member probe committee led by additional district magistrate Abu Rafa Mohammad Arif to investigate the incident, said Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Wahiduzzaman.
The committee, which started work on Saturday, has been asked to submit its report within seven working days, he said. 
The DC said the district administration also started to build 10 new houses (which were burnt) and repair the seven others for the victim families since Saturday morning.
The victim people built their temporary shelters after taking financial compensation from the district administration, said Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Ziaur Rahman.
The affected people have been given two bundles of tin and Tk 3,000 in cash. The administration will also bear the cost of rebuilding the homes, he said.
Kotowali Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Babul Miah claimed that local BNP leaders were also among the attackers.
We have arrested 58 people, including the mastermind Maulana Sirajul Haq in the attack, the police official said.
A temporary police camp has been set up at Thakurpara to fend off any untoward incident.
Khagen Chandra Roy, father of Titu Chandra Roy, claimed that some one has launched an account by using Titu's name.
The notorious man also used the pictures of Titu's family members and their village house, he further claimed.
It was impossible to post for his child as he was illiterate. He just can give his signature, said Khagen Chadra. 
He also said that his son left home around seven years ago as a defaulter of money from some villagers.
Titu's mother Anila Rani claimed that her son was totally innocent.
She feared of further attack after police withdrawal from the village.
Titu's brother Bipul said that they had no communication with his brother for several years.
He raised question how an illiterate person can run a facebook account?
He claimed that the post was a part of a conspiracy.
Faruk Hossain, Chairman of Khaleya Union Parishad in Sadar, said that the workers of the local administration started to rebuild the houses of the affected Hindu families around 9:30am on Saturday.
Alamgir Hossain, a trader from nearby Lalchandrapur village, under the district's Gangachara upazila, filed a case against Titu over the post the recently.
On Friday, thousands of people from several villages gathered in front of a mosque in Shayela Shah Bazar area after Juma prayers and then staged agitations on the highway, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded for over an hour yesterday.

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