, 31/10/2021, 6:00 am
Footage shared on social media blamed for igniting violence between communities that left seven dead, buildings torched and many living in fear
It was early morning when Achintya Das, a 55-year-old teacher in the city of Cumilla in Bangladesh, was woken by the ringing of his mobile phone. On the other end of the line was a fearful, stricken voice. Come quickly, the local told him, something very grave had happened. A Qur’an had been found in the shrine they had recently erected for the upcoming Hindu festival of Durga Puja. The Islamic holy book had been placed on a statue of the Hindu god Hanuman.
Das, a Hindu who organised the festival in Cumilla, felt dread rise up in him at the news of the desecration of Muslim holy scripture in their shrine. “It didn’t even take me a second to understand the gravity of the situation. I rushed there immediately,” he said.