A rabid and belligerent beat a young man to death and burned his body in Lalmonirhat’s Patgram upazila accusing him of ‘disrespecting the Quran’ on Thursday.
Police say Shahidunnabi Jewel, 42, son of Abdul Wazed Mia of Shalban Mistripara in Rangpur district town, was a former librarian of Rangpur Cantonment Public School and College.
The incident unfolded from the Burimari Bazar Central Mosque.
Sumonta Kumar Mohonto, officer-in-charge of Patgram Police Station, said Jewel came to Burimari in the afternoon with Sultan Zubair Abdar. After offering Asr prayer at the central mosque, he went to get a Quran from a shelf.
As he was trying to take one out, a number of Quranic and Hadith books fell at his feet, leading to an argument between him and the Muezzin. Locals took Jewel and Sultan to the Union Parishad office adjacent to the mosque as the argument escalated.
A rumour was spread in the market and nearby village that two men were arrested for ‘disrespecting the Quran’ by the time, according to police and locals.
At one stage, a group of people swooped on the Union Parishad office. They broke open the door and beat Jewel to death on the spot.
The mob did not stop there. It dragged the body to the Patgram-Burimari highway and set it afire. The people also demonstrated in the area.
On information, police, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and firefighters rushed to the spot but failed to take control of the situation.
Police also fired 17 blank shots to disperse the mob. Ten policemen, including the OC, were injured as the mob kept hurling brick chips.
Deputy Commissioner Abu Zafar and Superintendent of Lalmonirhat Police Abida Sultana visited the spot around 10:30pm. Police rescued Sultan and sent him to a local hospital for treatment.
Deputy Commissioner Abu Zafar said police were investigating the incident and that legal steps would be taken. Additional police and Rab personnel have been deployed in the area.