Zealots vandalise Ahmadiyya mosque
Local zealots yesterday vandalised an under-construction Ahmadiyya mosque in presence of police at Dakshin Khan in city’s Uttara, causing panic among the sect members.
The Ahmadiyyas alleged that the religious bigots have been obstructing the construction work since it began in February this year.
“They are bitterly opposed to construction of the mosque and have long been trying to deter us in many ways including attempts to establish the land as disputed,” Afzal Ahmad Kader, amir of city unit Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Bangladesh told The Daily Star yesterday.
Sub-inspector Bari of Uttara Police Station was present during yesterday’s attack on the sect, said Arman Ali Sarkar, a local Ahmadiyya.
Akhtaruzzaman, officer-in-charge (OC) of Uttara Police Station, however, told The Daily Star that he had sent SI Bari on receiving a complaint from the local Ahmadiyyas.
The Ahmadiyyas yesterday morning resumed the construction work of the mosque on a six-katha land that they claim to have bought from three daughters of Hazi Faiz Uddin. But soon a guard of Gram Sarkar showed up and asked them to stop the work.
“We have heard what you have just said but let us decide whether to stop the work,” Sarkar said in response to the guard’s call.
Minutes after, the member who sent the guard, burst into the site with some 40 people and started yelling at the Ahmadiyyas for restarting the work. He also brought a couple of policemen from a nearby police post, said the Ahmaddiyas.
“They hurled a torrent of abuse at us and at one stage as I was protesting their behaviour they tried to hit me,” said Tofazzal Hossain, a government employee and also an Ahmadiyya.
“Then they vandalised the wooden structure built for tin-roofing and threw it to water of the adjacent ditch.”
“They left the scene after warning us that they will harm our boys if they go out of their houses,” said Afzal.
Earlier when the Ahmadiyyas began the construction work in February, some 40 bigots led by local Imam Mohammad Arafat forced them to stop the work. The sect members filed a general diary with Uttara Police Station but to no effect. Uttara police have yet to initiate investigation into the matter, alleged the Ahmadiyyas.
Shortly after they resumed work the following morning, union parishad Chairman Khalil Mollah issued a notice saying that the Ahmadiyyas should stop the work as a local had staked claim on the land.
“Within minutes of issuance of the letter, he turned up with around 30 locals and ordered to stop the work,” said Afzal.
Mohammad Shajahan, a land broker and grand son-in-law of Hazi Faiz Uddin laid claim to the land saying Faiz had given the land to his mother-in-law Azibunessa.
“The chairman did not take any step to resolve the issue in last two months. Instead, to our dismay, he has tasked the locals with solving the dispute,” said Bashir Ahmad, a local Ahmadiyya.
The sect leader Sarkar on July 8 sent a letter to the chairman, informing him of their decision to resume the work immediately as the construction materials lay exposed to damage.
The locals, however, denied the allegation of attack and barring the construction work. Some of them, including an employee of the local mosque, however said the ‘Kadiyanis’ have no right to construct mosque, as they are not Muslim.
“We have never asked them not to build any mosque on their land,” said Mosarraf, a local leader of the ruling BNP. “They [Ahmadiyyas] have a mosque on their land for years,” said Bashir who lives in the neighbourhood.
OC Akhtaruzzaman later sat down with the locals and Ahmadiyyas and settled the matter. The two parties agreed to consult their lawyers to fix the dispute soon.