DHAKA — A Hindu teacher in Muslim-majority Bangladesh has been sacked after allegedly making offensive remarks about the prophet Mohammed that triggered angry protests, officials said Monday.
Shankar Biswas, a 32-year-old English teacher at a government high school in the southern town of Tungipara, infuriated students with his comments during class, senior police officer M. Rokonuzzaman told AFP.
"Students and their parents staged instant protests and then some 5,000 people demonstrated the next day, demanding action. Some attacked his house," he said, adding that Biswas had since fled.
Rokonuzzaman and other officials declined to reveal what the teacher was alleged to have said.
"He has been fired from his job with immediate effect on charges of making offensive remarks against the prophet Mohammed," said Subodh Chandra Dhali, the education ministry spokesman in Dhaka.
Islamic groups also held protests in the capital and other parts of the country.
About 90 percent of Bangladesh's 142 million people are Muslims, and religious issues often erupt into unrest.
Recent protests have focused on an Islamic pledge that has been removed from the constitution by the secular ruling party.
There were also violent protests in 2006 after a Danish newspaper printed cartoons of the prophet.
In 2009, a local newspaper cartoonist was jailed briefly for hurting religious feelings after a drawing showed a small boy suggesting that all cats should be named Mohammed.