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Old October 3, 2012, 09:51 PM
PoorFan PoorFan is offline
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Thursday, October 4, 2012
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Attacks on Buddhists

It all started from a tiny phone repair shop






A monk waits for devotees under the open sky in Ramu of Cox's Bazar. Criminals burned down the pagoda of Mithachhari Bidarshan Bhabna Kendra on Saturday night. Photo: Anurup Kanti DasJulfikar Ali Manik, from Ramu, Cox's Bazar

A very tiny, ordinary shop of a teenager at Ramu's Fakirabazar market area was the starting point of the six-hour-long communal campaign against the Buddhist on Saturday night, wreaking havoc on an otherwise peaceful area.

Eighteen-year-old Omar Faruk, who runs a mobile servicing shop there, is one of the very few who actually saw the picture insulting the Quran on Uttam Kumar Barua's Facebook page.

A Facebook friend, and not a real-life one, Faruk saved in his computer the image of the web page that showed Uttam was tagged in this derogatory photo.

Within a short time many people came to see the image, and at one point Faruk provided the soft copy of the photo to "three to four" people who wanted it, claiming to be journalists.

But that seems to be all. No one else among the several thousand fanatics who gathered in Ramu upazila town that night to destroy century-old Buddhist temples and pagodas has seen it on Uttam's Facebook page.

But the news of the image of a foot planted on a copy of the Quran on Uttam's Facebook account spread like wildfire from the evening.

Through Bluetooth, it passed from one mobile to another while printed copies were circulated and exhibited in the processions and rallies, inciting the demonstrators.

But Faruk, while relating to this correspondent as to how the publicity of the image had begun from his shop, claims neither to have printed it nor sent it to anyone's mobile phone. He says he has no idea about who copied and then distributed those among the demonstrators.

It was around 6:00pm on Saturday that he went back to his shop with his cousin, Abdul Muktadir, after having some snacks at a nearby restaurant.

Two youths, aged about 25, came to his shop at the time.
“I don't know them, never saw them before. They came to fix a mobile,” Faruk said.

While he was working on the mobile, Muktadir, a student of Shyamoli Polytechnic in Chittagong, was checking his Facebook account.

“At one point, I told Muktadir to log out from his account and log in on my account."
When asked if Muktadir knew his ID and password, he said, "I went to the computer desk and logged in on my account and returned to my work desk. After a few moments, Muktadir shrieked, saying 'What picture is this?'" Faruk said.
... Read more in Daily Star [the link below]
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