Islamists’ march to siege Ahmadiyya complex foiled in Bangladesh, 30 injured
Dhaka | December 23, 2005 9:10:03 PM IST
Police on Friday foiled a march by a group of Islamist hardliners to lay siege to the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, a minority religious sect in the city.
Series of clashes between the lawmen and the bigots left at least 30 people injured as the Islamists tried to break the police cordon and marched towards the Ahmadiyya central mosque at Bakhsibazar, police and witnesses said.
The security men were put on high alert as the bigots, under the banner of International Khatne Nabuwat Movement, asked the government to announce the members of the Ahmadiyya community non-Muslim before December 23.
They also threatened to capture the central office of the sect.
The hardliner amassed at a small park beside the Baitul Mukarram National mosque after the weekly prayer and chanted anti-Ahmadiyya slogans there.
As they tried to proceed towards the Ahmadiyya Complex, police intercepted them in the late afternoon where the clash between lawmen and the bigots erupted.
They chased each other for half an hour and at one stage, police went wild on the bigots resorting to baton charge and lobbed teargas to disperse them.
Police said at least 10 of their members were admitted to hospital for treatment while the bigots claim that more than 100 of their activists were injured.
Before the Jumm’a prayers, a large number of police and plainclothesmen took position at different points of Paltan area.
In his speech at the rally, Mahmudul Hasan Momtazi, the leader of a faction of the Khatme Nabuwar Movement, urged the government to declare the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslims immediately.
In January 2004, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance government of Begum Khaleda Zia on the face of Islamists movement banned all sorts of publications of the Ahamdiyya Muslim Jamaat.
Later a court stayed the government order and, since then, the Ahmadiyyans have been fighting a legal battle against the government. (ANI)