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Durga puja violence in Bangladesh: Paramilitary forces deployed
Five policemen were injured on Friday when a procession taken out from the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque after the Friday prayers attacked the police in Dhaka, reported Dhaka Tribune. The procession was taken out to protest against the alleged dishonour of Islam at a Durga puja pandal in Comilla, which had led to widespread violence in the country in the past three days. Noakhali, Chandpur, Cox’s Bazaar, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj, Pabna, Moulvibazara and Kurigram are tense. Paramilitary forces have been deployed to bring the situation under control.

DHAKA, Oct 15: Four people were killed in Bangladesh in violence during the Durga puja celebrations. The 10-day annual festivities were to conclude on Friday evening with the immersion of idols of Hindu Goddess Durga in water. Processions for immersion of the idols are taken out on the last day from puja mandaps set up for the celebrations during the period.

The violence is reported to have been sparked from one of the pandals called mandaps in Comilla district on Wednesday and was continuing on Friday despite a Government crackdown deploying paramilitary forces. Security has been strengthened across the country. Social media is said to have aided the violence to spread.

The situation remained grim in Chandpur, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Sylhet, Chittagong and Gazipur after attacks and clashes on Thursday, prompting the authorities to deploy BGB troopers and large contingents of police and RAB in different parts of the country to bring the situation under control, reported Dhaka tribune.

The four people were killed during clashes at Hajiganj sub-district in Chandpur on Wednesday. Dozens of people were injured in clashes in other districts as well. The violence spread to Durga Puja venues in Noakhali, Chandpur, Cox’s Bazaar, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj, Pabna, Moulvibazara and Kurigram.

According to Dhaka Tribune, Puja venues were vandalized in Chandpur, Chittagong, Gazipur, Bandarban, Chapainawabganj and Moulvibazar and the clashes resulted in the casualties.

It is reported that the violence followed rumours of desecration of Quran, the Muslims' holy book, at one of the Durga puja pandals in Comilla.

"The incidents in Comilla are being thoroughly investigated. Nobody will be spared. It doesn't matter which religion they belong to. They will be hunted down and punished," Dhaka Tribune quoted Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as saying on Thursday. Hasina exchanged greetings at a Durga pooja festival congregation.

India's External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said the Bangladesh Government acted promptly to contain the violence.

Durga puja will come to a close in the country on Friday evening with the immersion of idols of Goddess Durga, worshipped by the Hindus. Processions to water bodies are held by devotees from huge puja mandaps where festivities are organised for ten days. The Bijoya Dashami, the 10th day of the celebrations, marks the victory of the good over evil.

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