Dhaka, Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Ahmadiyyas’ fears rise again
STAFF CORRESPONDENT, Khulna
Unidentified persons, believed to be members of International Khatme Nabuwat Movement Bangladesh, put back a signboard on the Ahmadiyya Mosque Complex at Nirala in Khulna early Monday, reportedly in the presence of the police. ‘This is a place of worship for Kadianis [as Ahmadiyyas are widely known]; so, no Muslim should take it to be a mosque,’ reads the signboard.
Members of the anti-Ahmadiyya movement put the signboard on August 13, 2004. Unidentified persons pulled it down early Friday.
The Ahmadiyyas said they were afraid of serious repercussion and remained indoors after leaders and activists issued a threat late Sunday afternoon of beating the Ahmadiyyas wherever they were found. They also alleged that the police had done nothing when the signboard was put back.
The anti-Ahmadiyyas issued the threat from a siege-cum-rally programme at a corner of the complex as they iterated their demand for the government to declare the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslims. They also set a deadline for the signboard to be put back by Monday morning.
Residents of the complex said some people put back the signboard in the presence of the police at about 2:00am Monday. The police had taken on-duty security guards of the complex away before the signboard was put back.
As it was being put back, Ahmadiyyas reacted but the police prevented them for making any resistance, they alleged.
Later, when they went to pull it down the Ward 24 president of the movement, Lutfar Rahman, and some of his associates warned them of dire consequences, they claimed.
‘All the while the police played the silent onlooker,’ said a member of the Ahmadiyya community.
The on-duty policemen claimed that they did not know anything about the incident when talking to journalists.
The residential secretary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat residential secretary, Omar Farukh, told New Age that they did not go out of their residence on Monday in fear of an attack.
‘We have already sent letters to the home ministry, the deputy inspector general of the Khulna police range, the Khulna Metropolitan Police commissioner and the Khulna deputy commissioner, seeking their actions to ensure our security and to pull down the signboard,’ he said.
Lutfar Rahman told New Age that unidentified people had put the signboard back and that the Ahmadiyyas had tried to pull it down but the policemen resisted them. ‘They are non-Muslims, and we demand that they should be declared as non-Muslims by the government.’
M Akbar Ali, deputy commissioner of the Khulna Metropolitan Police, told New Age that unidentified people had put the signboard back in the dark of the night. ‘We have deployed 10 members of the police at the Ahmadiyya Mosque Complex at Nirala for the security of Ahmadiyyas.’