Bangladesh ruling party rallies for Hindus after deadly violence

Thousands of members of Bangladesh’s ruling party have rallied in support of the nation’s besieged minority Hindus after one of the worst bouts of religious violence in the Muslim-majority nation in more than 10 years.

The wave of clashes left at least six people, including two Hindu men, dead and dozens of homes destroyed, according to local media. Police said 450 people had been arrested.

The attacks began on Friday when hundreds of Muslims protested in the southeastern Noakhali district accusing Hindus of a blasphemous incident involving the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

Several Hindu religious sites were vandalised and homes were attacked and torched.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party held a rally in the capital Dhaka on Tuesday, with thousands marching along a four-km (2.5 miles) route in the heart of the city, calling for an end to the violence.

“Stop this communal evil, Bangladesh,” read one banner held by women supporters.

Elsewhere in Dhaka, several hundred writers gathered, holding up handwritten messages and small posters.

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