Unidentified criminals set a 200-year-old Hindu temple ablaze at Rajoir upazila in Madaripur in the wee hours yesterday.
Police and locals said miscreants torched the Kali Mandir at Mahendradi village sometime after midnight.
Dadon Kanta, chairman of Haridashdi-Mahendradi upazila, suspects that Jamaat or BNP men are behind the attack.
Police, meanwhile, arrested Haridashdi-Mahendradi union unit BNP President Abul Kalam Azad yesterday afternoon suspecting his involvement in the incident.Mofazzal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Rajoir Police Station, said they were yet to identify the attackers and that they were investigating the incident.
Uttam Banerjee, president of the temple managing committee, said locals rushed to the spot on seeing the flames but the temple had been badly burnt before they could bring the flames under control.In December last year, miscreants vandalised some idols of the same temple, he added.Temples of the Hindus in several districts came under attacks in the past few months. Mahmuda Begum, a housewife who lives next to the temple, said they saw the temple on fire around 3:00am and began to scream.
Harinath Bhattachariya, whose ancestors had donated the land for building the temple, said they were upset to see repeated attacks on the temple.Mohadev Mridha, another villager, said, “My father and grandfather used to offer prayers at the 200-year-old temple that burnt down before our eyes.Nasirul Islam, additional superintendent of police in Madaripur, visited the spot and said law enforcers were gathering information and were trying to catch the culprits.