Dhaka, Thursday, May 13, 2004
Bid to capture Ahmadiya mosque foiled in Patuakhali
OUR CORRESPONDENT, Barisal, May 12.
The Patuakhali police Wednesday foiled a bid to capture an Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat mosque in Barisal town.
The siege programme was announced by the International Khatm-e-Nabbuyat Movement.
The Patuakhali district administration and police took up strong measures to foil the siege since Tuesday midnight.
A huge number of police was deployed at different key points, including the Ahmadia mosque at Mithapukur and meeting spot of the movement in the town.
At about 11:00am Wednesday, thousands of people of the movement gathered at the Patuakhali Shahid Alauddin Shishu Park to evict the Ahmadiyas from the locality.
Central amir of the movement Mawlana Mahbubur Rahman presided over the rally, which was addressed, among others, by Mufti Md Nur Hossain, Mawlana Nazmul Huq, Mawlana Abu Taher, Mawlana Obaidur Rahman, Mufti Rafiqul Islam, Mawlana Ataur Rahman and Shafuqul Islam.
The speakers said the Islamic religious leaders supported four party alliances in the last general election. But now they are considering withdrawing their support.
The government has proven its inefficiency in protecting Islamic values, they alleged.
They demanded that the Ahmadiyas be declared non-Muslims and their mosques should be identified as Mandir [temple] or Upasonaloya [prayer house], instead of masjid [mosque].
The movement later brought out a procession and tried to head for the Ahmadiya mosque at Mithapukur.
But the police resisted the rally just before two hundreds metres far from the mosques.
The leaders locked in a hassle with the police to dismantle the police barricade. The police charged baton over the procession.
Later, following a compromise, a section of the movement leaders, along with police, entered the mosque, where some 50 Ahmadiyas were found discussing their affairs.
The movement men searched the mosque and recovered a Holy Quran and its Bangla translation. They gave back the copy to the Ahmadiya leaders.
Mawlana Mahbub, however, claimed that their program was successful as they were apparently succeeded to cordon the Ahmadiyas inside their den for hours.
Ahmadiya leader Shamsuddin Khan thanked the Patuakhali administration and police for ensuring timely initiatives.
He also said Ahmadiyas in Patuakhali town are still unsafe as the movement men can attack the mosque and houses any time.
Durbar Net Work and Adarsha Mahila Sangstha also declared human chain program against the siege.
But they withdrew their program on Tuesday night in request of the local administration.