Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday directed Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan to initiate action against the perpetrators of the recent communal violence in the country, reported the Dhaka Tribune.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told reporters that Hasina gave the directions during a weekly government meeting.

Bangladesh has been witnessing a spell of violence against Hindus since October 13. Clashes had erupted following social media posts about the alleged desecration of the Quran in a Durga Puja pandal in Comilla district. So far, seven people have died in the violence, according to Dhaka Tribune.

“The Comilla incident is being investigated,” Islam said on Tuesday, adding that authorities will find out what happened in the district. He said that the prime minister has asked the home ministry to remain vigilant against such incidents.

Hasina, the Cabinet secretary said, has urged residents not to trust posts on social media platforms without verifying them.

The prime minister has also announced possible assistance to the families affected by the arson attacks in Rangpur district’s Pirganj upazila (sub-district). On Sunday, mobs had set fire to at least 25 houses and shops belonging to people of the Hindu community living in three villages of the district.

The country’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief on Tuesday allocated Rs 3 lakh in Bangladeshi taka, or around Rs 2.63 lakh, and 100 bundles of iron sheets for building houses for the families adversely affected in the arson attacks, reported The Daily Star.

The ministry also allocated 200 packets of food items. Each packet contains 10 kg rice, one kg pulse, one kg salt, one litre soybean oil, one kg sugar and other edible items.

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Comilla prime suspect identified

Meanwhile, the home minister said on Tuesday that the government has identified the prime suspect in the Comilla incident.

“I hope the prime suspect in the Comilla incident will be arrested soon,” Khan said. “He has been changing locations frequently to avoid getting caught. We’ll be able to unfold the Comilla incident once he’s arrested.”

At an event in the Rapid Action Battalion headquarters in capital Dhaka, Khan asserted that the people who were involved in the communal violence will be arrested soon.

“We’ve seen some unpleasant incidents at puja mandaps this year and some people attempted to vandalise a temple in Chandpur centering the Comilla incident,” the home minister said. “Police had to face trouble in bringing the situation under control.”

He also said people were attempting to destabilise the situation in some areas by spreading rumours through social media. “These are harmful and the Rangpur incident is an example,” Khan said.

The arson attacks in the district had taken place after some people alleged that a Hindu man posted religiously offensive content on Facebook.