Muslim bigots continue pressure to ban Ahmadiyyans in Bdesh
Dhaka | May 28, 2004 7:26:39 PM IST
Muslim bigots in Bangladesh have accelerated pressure on the government to strop religious practices by the Ahmadiyyan community, a minority religious sect, amidst the international communities urge to ensure the minorities right in the country.
About 20,000 Muslim zealots on Friday marched to the central mosque of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, pelting stones and chunks of bricks in Chittagong.
The militant zealots, who have been chanting slogans demanding ban of the sect in Bangladesh, laid siege the mosque after the Fridays prayer.
But, they could not enter into the mosque as huge contingent of armed police guarded the mosque. To divert the militants from the scene a police official replace a signboard of the Ahmadiyya community with a banner carrying: Its not a mosque and no Muslim should enter here for prayer.
Police said they had to do it to ward off any violent incident.
Nasir Ahmed, general secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat mosque committee, denounced the police for changing the signboard of the mosque. He said, The police cannot do it at any excuse.
Earlier, security was strengthen in the port city around the Ahmadiya mosque at Chawkbazar after the Chittagong chapter of the International Khatme Nabuwat Movement, Bangladesh, announced they would lay siege to the mosque Friday.
The bigots observed similar programmes in Dhaka, Patuakhali and some other places, and planned more demonstration across the country, to press their demand for a government announcement that the Ahmadiyya, a minority sect of Islam, is non-Muslim.
Facing threats of tough movement from the radical groups, the government on January 8, 2004 banned all sorts of publications of the Ahmadiyya community. The government action was widely criticised in home and abroad.
In her recent visit to Bangladesh, US Assistant secretary of state for South Asia Christina B. Rocca condemned the attacks on Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.
She urged the government to uphold the rights of the minority community.
Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, about 100,000 in number, have been the target of a campaign by a number of Islamist groups in the country in recent months. (ANI)