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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  April, 2005  US envoy to report soon to State Dept
US envoy to report soon to State Dept

The Daily Star
Vol. 5 Num 322Sun. April 24, 2005

Front Page

Attacks on Ahmadiyyas
US envoy to report soon to State Dept

Staff Correspondent

US Ambassador in Dhaka Harry K Thomas on Friday said he will soon inform the US State Department of the recent spate of attacks on Ahmadiyyas in Bangladesh.

During a visit to Ahmadiyya headquarters at Bakshibazar in the capital on Friday morning, the US envoy also condemned the oppression of Ahmadiyyas across the country, especially that in Satkhira last week, and expressed concern over the ‘fundamentalists’ attacks’.

Thomas offered his sympathy to the sect leaders for the last week’s violence, which left over 50 Ahmadiyyas including women and children wounded in Jyotindranagar of Satkhira.

Led by local leaders of Jamaat-e-Islmai, a key component of the ruling coalition, the religious bigots also changed the signboard of local Ahmadiyya complex and looted several houses on Sunday.

The Ahmadiyya leaders held a one-hour talk with the ambassador. They gave him a detailed account of Khatme Nabuwat attacks on Ahmadiyyas in Jyotindranagar, said a source. Besides, they screened video clips of the attacks and looting.

“Ahmadiyyas have been attacked. And I am saddened to see the sorry state they are in,” he told reporters after coming out of the meeting.

He said he hopes that civil society and the government will take steps to protect the Ahmadiyyas. “We all feel sad when fundamentalists attack the Ahmadiyyas,” said Thomas who was scheduled to leave Dhaka for the US yesterday and raise the issue at a seven-day meeting of the US State Department.

Ahmadiyya Nayeb-e-Amir Prof Meer Mobashwer Ali, Central Missionary Abdul Awal Khan Chowdhury and leader Meer Tareq Ali were present at the meeting.

Asked whether they seek a third party intervention to resolve the issue, Prof Mobashwer answered in the negative and said: “We ourselves can settle the discord prevailing among us.”

“Our well-wishers come over to know how we are whenever they hear anything bad about us,” he added.

Our Satkhira correspondent reports: Situation in Jyotindranagar has calmed down in the face of local administration’s measures to stop intimidation of the Ahmadiyyas.

Announcements have been made from loudspeakers yesterday that no gathering of more than 50 people, and no political or religious programme or conference in the area would be allowed without permission from the administration.

“We have taken the decision to respond better to the situation,” Satkhira Superintendent of Police (SP) Abdur Rahim told The Daily Star yesterday. “There is already a law in this regard. We want all to register with us before a programme so that we can keep an eye on them,” he said.

Satkhira Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Elias and the SP visited the Ahmadiyyas in Jyotindranagar Friday afternoon and made the announcement later before local Nabuwat leaders at Harinagarbazar.

As Nabuwat leaders demanded that the pulled-down signboard be hung again at Jyotindranagar Ahmadiyya complex, the DC said that it would not be posted again.

He also cautioned the Nabuwat workers against taking up any violent programme against the Ahmadiyyas.

Satkhira police meanwhile have yet to arrest any of the six Nabuwat leaders blamed for the Sunday’s attack. Local Ahmadiyya member Ohidur Rahman filed a case on Wednesday accusing the six of making attempt on his wife’s life and looting their house. International Khatme Nabuwat Movement Bangladesh Amir Mahmudul Hasan Momtazi, Nayeb-e-Amir Nur Hossain Nurani and local Nabuwat leader Nur Hossain are among the accused.

This cartoon was published in the Bangla National Daily Prothom Alo on April 21, 2005. The cartoon shows the Khatme Nabuwat extremist beating innocent Ahmadies and disgracing the Constitution of the country. The administration and mullas are watching this with joy. - Courtesy: Protom Alo
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