Bangladesh school suspends Hindu teacher for ‘Like’ on Facebook post against Islam

bangladesh_map12A Hindu teacher has been suspended by his school in the face of demand of a group of locals who claim the man had hurt religious sentiments in Bogra’s Sherpur Upazila.
Only 18 days ago, another teacher was publicly shamed and later sacked over similar allegations in Narayanganj.

The group of people of Sherpur’s Sughat Union agitated at the Kalyani High School playground on Monday alleging that Assistant Teacher of mathematics Biplab Kumar Roy ‘Liked a disparaging post against Islam on Facebook’.

The school’s managing committee then decided to temporarily suspend Roy and opened an inquiry into the matter, Headmaster Sudeb Pal said.

Shyamal Kanti Bhakta, headmaster of a school at Narayanganj’s Bandar Upazila, was beaten by a mob that claimed he had committed blasphemy against Islam earlier this month. He was also made to sit-ups holding his ears by a local MP in public.

His public humiliation has triggered countrywide protests against what was perceived to be vigilante justice. Bhakta was dismissed by the school.

The education ministry in its investigations found that the allegations brought against Bhakta were not true.

It reinstated the teacher and dissolved the managing committee of that school.

Locals at Bogra’s Sughat Union said a Faceboook ID named ‘Krishna Kumar’, which they think is run by Biplab Kumar Roy, had liked the Facebook post hurting religious sensitivities.

The issue became a hot topic in the locality in the afternoon. As tension rose, the angry mob thronged the Kalyani High School playground and demanded Roy’s suspension.

Roy could not be reached for comment or confirmation whether the said Facebook ID belonged to him. His mobile phone was also found switched off.

Headmaster Sudeb Pal said Roy was also absent in school on Monday.

After hearing of the matter, Upazila Executive Officer AKM Sarwar Jahan, the Upazila education officer and police went to the school.
Pal said he had notified the school’s Managing Committee President Israil Hossain Badal first after the locals levelled the allegations against Roy.

The committee closed the school for the day amid tension and called an emergency meeting which later decided to suspend Roy.

It also formed the three-strong investigation panel and ordered it to submit its findings within seven days, Pal said.

Sarwar Jahan said, “We’ll investigate the matter and take IT specialists’ help to find out whether Biplab Kumar Roy indeed is the one who runs the Facebook ID under Krishna Kumar’s name.”

He said the locals had shown them a copy of that post against Islam and the Facebook profile. “We’ll be able to say more about this after the investigation,” he added.