Bangladesh lawmaker and former cricket team captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza on Sunday called upon all to maintain peace and work to ensure communal harmony, in wake of attacks on the Hindu community in his constituency Narail over an incident of alleged blasphemy.
"I am really shocked with the incident that happened yesterday in our area; it is hurting me every moment. I humbly request everyone to refrain from doing anything that might threaten peace and discipline," Mashrafe said in a Facebook post.
"Please don't tarnish Narail's thousand-year-old heritage of communal harmony in a bit by falling in the trap of those who want to destroy it."
A mob organised by Islamists allegedly attacked a Hindu temple and also vandalised several houses belonging to the minority community, the police said on Saturday.
The violence in Digholia village took place on Friday evening over a Hindu boy's social media post.
A house belonging to a Hindu family was also set afire.
Police had fired warning shots to disperse the mob, said police inspector Haran Chandra Paul.
While under the country's Penal Code, any person who has a deliberate or malicious intention of hurting religious sentiments is liable to imprisonment, the Jamaat-e-Islami has made previous attempts to create a law authorising the death penalty for blasphemy, like Pakistan.
When Sheikh Hasina had formed her government, she firmly rejected calls to strengthen blasphemy laws, reaffirming that the country is a secular democracy. The Prime Minister also defended the law in the current form.
Her government is facing pressure from Pakistan-paid and hardline Islamist politicians in this regard, amid allegations of blasphemy causing outbreaks of violence and instability and being used by extremists to advance their own political agenda.
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