DHAKA: At the very least 4 folks have been killed and scores injured in violent protests Friday set off by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in Bangladesh to have a good time its fiftieth anniversary of independence.
The casualties occurred after college students from a outstanding madrasa or Islamic faculty and members of an Islamist group clashed with police within the southeastern district of Chattogram.
Alauddin Talukder, a police official on the Chattogram Medical Faculty Hospital, advised reporters that 5 folks with accidents have been taken to the hospital and 4 of them died throughout therapy. Additional particulars couldn’t be confirmed instantly.
Native media reported that members of the Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam, which has a community of Islamic colleges, attacked authorities constructions, together with a police station and a land workplace, at Hathazari space in Chattogram earlier than police took motion.
At Dhaka’s foremost mosque, clashes broke out between teams of demonstrators and police dispersed the gang by utilizing tear fuel and rubber bullets — injuring scores of individuals, officers and witnesses stated.
The protesters additionally set fireplace to workplaces of a railway station in japanese district of Brahmanbaria, disrupting prepare communications.
Modi’s two-day go to, his first overseas for the reason that coronavirus pandemic started, will embrace commemorating 100 years for the reason that start of Bangladeshi independence chief Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the daddy of present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Hasina, a key accomplice for India in sustaining regional stability, welcomed Modi on the airport on Friday morning.
Critics accuse Modi’s Hindu-nationalist occasion of stoking non secular polarization in India and discriminating towards minorities, notably Muslims. In current weeks, demonstrators in Bangladesh have urged the Indian chief to not go to and chanted anti-India and anti-Modi slogans. In addition they have criticized Hasina for inviting him.
Outdoors the Baitul Mokarram mosque, a whole bunch of protesters had gathered by the afternoon. Witnesses stated clashes began after one faction of protesters started waving their footwear as an indication of disrespect to Modi, and one other group tried to cease them.
Native media stated the protesters who tried to cease the shoe-waving are aligned with the ruling Awami League occasion. The occasion criticized the opposite protest faction for trying to create chaos within the nation throughout Modi’s go to.
Native TV confirmed protesters throwing stones on the police, who have been closely current on the streets close to the mosque. Somoy TV reported that at the least 40 folks have been injured, together with journalists, and have been taken to the Dhaka Medical Faculty Hospital for therapy.
Abdul Mazid, a businessman who joined the prayer, advised The Related Press that he was trapped within the mosque after attempting to flee when violence erupted in the course of the prayer.
“I had a sense that one thing was going to occur. I’m nonetheless contained in the mosque,” he stated by cellphone. “There’s big violence, I can see from right here.”
A police official stated members of a number of Islamist teams had joined the protests, but it surely was not instantly clear which teams they have been representing. The official spoke on situation of anonymity according to rules. He declined to offer any figures for a way many individuals have been injured.
After Modi’s arrival, Hasina advised an viewers in a parade sq. in Dhaka that Bangladesh’s relations with India reached a brand new excessive.
“Our (bilateral) relations with India have now escalated to new heights,” she stated. “If we transfer ahead hand in hand, the event of our folks is inevitable.”
Whereas Modi’s journey is especially centered on Bangladesh’s anniversary celebrations, the go to additionally has a political agenda at house, as voting begins Saturday in a number of state-level elections, together with West Bengal, which borders Bangladesh.
With a watch on galvanizing Hindu assist in the important thing battleground state, Modi is ready to go to a Hindu temple exterior Dhaka that’s sacred to the Matua group again in West Bengal. The Matua sect’s vote is predicted to find out the winner of at the least seven seats in an in depth race for management of the state meeting.
Modi, in a tweet late Thursday forward of his journey, stated the 2 international locations share a significant relationship.
“Our partnership with Bangladesh is a vital pillar of our Neighborhood First coverage, and we’re dedicated to additional deepen and diversify it. We’ll proceed to assist Bangladesh’s outstanding growth journey, underneath Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s dynamic management,” he stated.