DHAKA - Bangladesh has arrested two school teachers over a drama that contained blasphemous remarks about Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
The drama contained blasphemous remarks about the Prophet, which angered Muslim villagers, police chief Farid Uddin told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Saturday, March 31.
The school's Muslim headmaster and a female Hindu teacher sparked outrage among villagers last week after playing a drama that included blasphemous remarks about Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
Criticizing the play, thousands protested following weekly prayers at Kaliganj, 250 kilometers southwest of the capital Dhaka.
At least 3,000 demonstrators barricaded a key road and held noisy protests in front of the school and in other towns in the district on Friday.
Violence also erupted on Saturday as up to 7,000 Muslims shouted slogans and set ablaze the house of the drama's director, who has fled the remote area, another senior police official Zaiadul Haq told AFP.
The situation is still volatile, he said.
To soothe angry protesters, Farid Uddin, the local police official, detained both teachers on Saturday.
He said the teachers had been accused of hurting religious sentiment for helping organise the drama at their school.
Bangladesh is the world's third-largest Muslim majority nation with a population of some 148 million.
The country has a secular legal system but village councils issue fatwas to resolve disputes in rural areas.
Bangladesh follows Shari`ah in resolving issues related to inheritance and marriage.
The country's secular government has dealt harshly with any event or publications seen as potentially upsetting religious feelings.
Earlier in March, a court in Muslim-majority Bangladesh ordered the government to immediately block pages of websites with content deemed to hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.
The high court issued the order after two university teachers filed a petition seeking action against the publication of offensive material on a few Facebook pages and another website, which they said was disparaging of the Prophet and Islam.
Insulting the Prophet is considered blasphemous in Islam.
Blasphemy is a crime punishable by execution or imprisonment in some Muslim countries.