What started as two villagers arguing in a restaurant escalated until police had to disperse a heated crowd with rubber bullets and tear gas
A brawl broke out between villagers in eastern Bangladesh arguing over the plot of an Indian fantasy television serial, leaving 100 people injured, police said on Friday. The villagers had gathered at a restaurant in Habiganj district on Wednesday night to watch Kiranmala, a famous Bengali-language show about a warrior princess who saves mankind from evil, when the dispute erupted.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd as the argument escalated throughout the night, with angry viewers vandalising the restaurant in Dhol village and attacking each other with sticks and knives.
"Two men got involved into an argument over the story of the episode, which later turned into a group skirmish," local police chief Yasinul Haque told AFP. "During the fight, the angry mob vandalised the restaurant and continued the fight on Thursday morning," he said.
At least 100 people were injured during the brawl in the village 176 kilometres (109 miles) north-east of Dhaka, Haque said, with 15 requiring hospital treatment.
Several Bangladeshis blasted the government on social media for allowing the broadcast of Indian television channels, which they claim "spread degenerate culture" in the Muslim-majority nation. "It is very sad we are fighting over mere acting. Channels should be filtered," Facebook user Aminur Rahman wrote.
Three suicides of young women have also been linked to watching Kiranmala in the past year, according to local media, after their parents reportedly refused to buy them an expensive dress worn by the princess.