After a court sentenced an illiterate Hindu youth to ten years in jail, a mob tried to lynch another man for allegedly offending Prophet Muhammad.
by Marco Respinti
Bangladesh’ ultra-fundamentalist Muslims are increasingly using fabricated charges of blasphemy, which is punishable as part of the crime of “hurting religious feelings” and under the Digital Security Act, to promote themselves. They often target religious minorities.
On May 23, the Rangpur Cyber Tribunal convicted of blasphemy a young Hindu from the village of Thakurpara, in the Rangpur district, called Titu Roy and sentenced him to ten years in jail. He should also pay fifty thousand Bangladeshi taka ($467), failing which another five months will be added to his sentence.
Titu Roy was accused of having disseminated a blasphemous comment against Prophet Muhammad through Facebook in 2017. The post led to a mob assaulting the houses of Hindus in Rangpur, burning and pillaging several of them. Titu Roy was subsequently arrested.
His attorney claims that Titu Roy is illiterate and does not even know how to use Facebook. The decision will be appealed.
On June 4, in a similar case in the Kafrul area of the capital city Dhaka, a mob gathered and tried to lynch a man called Mohammad Sohel, who was also accused of offending Prophet Muhammad via Facebook. Sohel was rescued, taken to the hospital, and charged with blasphemy, but the police had to clash with some 2,500 Muslim radicals and 12 police officers were injured.