In a landmark judgment, the Bangladesh High Court, on Sunday, directed the government to compensate 33 Hindu families in Pabna district which came under attack over a Facebook post demeaning the Prophet.

The compensation will have to be granted within three weeks.

Miscreants vandalised 29 houses, 10 business establishments and seven temples at the Bonogram bazaar in Santhia in the district on November 2, 2013, alleging that a Hindu boy from the locality made the demeaning post on the social-networking site.

The court order carries significance in the backdrop of recent large-scale attacks on religious minorities across Bangladesh, when hundreds of houses and business establishments of the Hindu community were either burnt or damaged.

A Bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain directed the police to arrest those responsible for the attacks.

Compensation

The court directed the government to pay 43.42 lakh taka as compensation estimated by an investigation committee, Deputy Attorney General Biswajit Roy said.

A day after the attack, the court ordered the immediate arrest of the culprits and increasing the security in the affected areas. It ordered an assessment of the damages and the identification of the person behind the Facebook post. Following the order, a committee was formed to investigate the incident and determine the damages. Its report identified the affected families and 29 houses, 10 businesses, six family temples and one community temple that were attacked.

After examining the report, the court passed the order.