Dhaka, Saturday, October 7, 2006
10 hurt in clash over capture of Ahmadiyya mosque
At least 10 people were injured as the police in riot gear fought stone-throwing religious bigots trying to storm and capture the Ahmadiyya mosque at Purba Nakhalpara in Dhaka on Friday.
The violence erupted when leaders and activists of the International Khatme Nabuwat Movement Bangladesh tried to approach the mosque on Haji Maran Ali Road at Purba Nakhalpara in a bid to capture it. Two police men were also injured in the clash.
Earlier, on Wednesday afternoon, the fanatic elements staged noisy demonstration at the Nabisco Crossing and threatened to capture the mosque on Friday in protest against the government’s ‘failure’ to declare Ahmadiyyas ‘non-Muslims.’
On Friday, the bigots started converging at different mosques in the area after the Friday congregation prayers to attack the Ahmadiyya mosque.
At around noon they gathered at the Rahim Metal Mosque in the Tejgaon Industrial Area before marching towards the Ahmadiyya mosque. They asked the government to declare the Ahmadiyyas ‘kafirs’ (non-believers).
The police tightened security in and around the mosque after Wednesday night and blocked all the roads leading to the mosque with barbed-wire fences.
When intercepted, the fanatic elements started hurling stones at the police provoking the law enforcers into action.
The bigots then went on the rampage, and locked in fierce clashes with the police leaving 10 people including two police men injured.
As clashes raged, the khatib of the Rahim Metal mosque and the amir of the Khatme Nabuwat Movement urged them through loudhailers to calm.
Khatme Nabuwat amir Mahmudul Hasan Momtazi, meanwhile, announced that a five-member delegation of the agitators, led by its secretary general Maulana Nazmul Hossain, along with the police officials, would go to the Ahmadiyya mosque to put up a sign reading ‘Iha Kadiyanider Upasanalay, Masjid Mone Kore Kono Musalman Bhul Korben Na [this is a place of worship of Kadiyanis, Muslims should not mistake it for a mosque].’
The police officials received the sign from the bigots and told them that the law men would put it up at the entrance of the mosque, and will not allow the agitators to approach the place of worship.
Shortly afterwards, the police officials informed the Khatme Nabuwat leaders that they had already hung the sign at the Ahmadiyya mosque.
Hearing the news the agitators left the area at around 5:15pm announcing that they would continue their movement until the government declared the Ahmadiyyas ‘non-Muslims.’
Traffic remained suspended on the Tongi Diversion Road between the Rainbow Crossing and the Mohakhali Crossing for about four hours from 1:00pm, causing sufferings to people.
The police were deployed in the area including GMG Lane, Volvo Lane and Tabani Lane to avert further troubles.
Some of the injured persons were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
No arrests were made for the disorder.
Over a 100 people, including 20 policemen were injured in a violent clash between the police and zealots on November 21, 2003, when the fanatic elements tried to occupy the mosque.