The accused -- local Awami League leader and former UP chairman Dewan Atikur Rahman Akhi, Md Mokhles Miah, Md Mofizul Hoque, Khasrul Miah, Nazir Rahman, Md Mahfuz Miah, Idu Miah, Sheikh Md Abdul Ahad, Saiham Rabbi Shyam, Mir Kashem, Anis Miah, Tabarak Reza and Sajeeb Chowdhury -- are from different areas of the Nasirnagar upazila.

Eight of the 13 accused were present at the court while delivering the judgment.

According to the case statement, miscreants vandalised and torched establishments, including a temple belonging to the Hindu community in some areas of the upazila after spreading a rumour over a derogatory post on Islam from a Facebook account of one Rosraj Das, a resident of Harinveda village under Haripur union of the upazila, on 30 October 2016.

A total of eight cases were filed involving the violence later. The case’s investigating officer later submitted the charge sheet accusing the 13 people. After completing all legal procedures, the court handed down the judgment in absence of the five accused on Thursday.

Being aggrieved at the verdict, defence lawyer Kamruzzaman Mamun said they would appeal against the verdict.

The plaintiffs’ counsel Nazmul Hossain expressed satisfaction over the judgment, saying that the justice has been served through the verdict.