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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  2003  Hundreds clash with cops over Ahmadia mosque row
Hundreds clash with cops over Ahmadia mosque row
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2003-11-22, Home, matamat

Hundreds clash with cops over Ahmadia mosque row

Over a hundred people were injured in clashes over offering prayer at an Ahmadia mosque, better known as Kadiani mosque, at Tejgaon area of the city on Friday, with police claiming that 20 of them were law-enforcers.

The violence erupted when a group of Sunni Muslims tried to force their way into the mosque at Hajji Maran Ali Road in the East Nakhalpara area to offer Jum’atul Wida prayers.

Earlier, on Thursday night, the group had ht declared that they would offer the prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan at the mosque.

In line with the declaration, members of the group had started converging at different mosques in the area since morning.

Lastly, they gathered at the Rahim Metal mosque before marching toward the Kadiani mosque at Hajji Maran Ali Road at around noon. They also demanded of the government to declare the Kadianis kafirs (non-believers).

Meanwhile, police had beefed up security in and around the mosque since Thursday night and blocked all roads leading to the Ahmadia mosque with barbwire.

As the overzealous group of Sunni Muslims were intercepted, they started pelting brickbats at the law enforcers.

When policemen retaliated with teargas shells, the group went on the rampage, damaging several motor vehicles on the busy Tejgaon Diversion Road.

They also dragged two police motorcycles to the middle of the road and set those on fire, forcing the lawmen to detour the Tongi Diversion Road traffic.

The trouble-mongers went off the street for a while for the jum’a prayers. However, the imam of the Rahim Metal mosque urged them from a pickup van through megaphone to resume agitation once the prayers were over.

After the prayers, they once again took to the streets and engaged in clashes with the police.

The imam, meanwhile, announced that a five-member delegation of the agitators, led by the pir (religious scholar) of Jainpuri, would go to the Kadiani mosque to offer prayers.

However, several hundred people followed the delegation as it marched towards the mosque and, when obstructed, started pelting brickbats at the policemen once again.

Police this time around resorted to batons and teargas shells to disperse the unruly crowd. They also fired several rounds of rubber bullets. Also, they snatched away the megaphone from the agitators.

The agitated Sunnis left the area at around 4:00pm, announcing that they would offer the jum’a prayers on the first Friday of December at the Kadiani mosque.

Most of the injured in the clashes were released after first aid. Only a few were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for further treatment.

No arrest was made for the disorder.
Correspondents say the radicals want the Ahmadiyya declared non-Muslims.

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