At least one person was killed and more than 200 people injured in Saturday’s clash
A faction of the Sunni Islamic movement Tabligh Jamaat has blamed the administration for Saturday’s internal clash at the Bishwa Ijtema ground in Tongi, which resulted in the death of one of their members.
Followers of Indian preacher Maulana Muhammad Saad Al Kandhalvi made the accusation at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity on Monday.
“Had the administration taken measures in advance, such an incident could have been avoided,” Maulana Ashraf Ali, a spokesperson for the faction, said at the press briefing.
The group also sought the prime minister’s intervention to resolve the issue.
They expressed fear that violence may spread across the country due to the dispute between Tabligh Jamaat factions, alleging that opponents are attacking them in different regions of the country.
The group demanded a judicial investigation into the incident.
Maulana Ashraf said they had written to the Home Ministry several times, urging them to resolve the issue over the control of the Ijtema ground.
He further said the Religious Affairs Ministry earlier issued a circular, saying the two factions would observe their programs separately.
“But the circular was cancelled one week later,” he added.
The Maulana Saad-led faction blamed the administration and police for recent clashes over establishing supremacy at the Bishwa Ijtema ground. The Maulana Jobayer-led faction also questioned the role of police in a press briefing on Sunday.
Maulana Ashraf Ali added that they had sent a letter to the deputy commissioner (DC) and police commissioner of Gazipur on November 25, regarding the Jor Ijtema (a gathering before Bishwa Ijtema) that was scheduled to be held on November 30.
The group also delivered seven proposals, including holding programs by the factions on separate days.
“Let us have the opportunity to organize Ijtema on separate days, which was announced in the circular,” he said.
“In our Ijtema, there will be scholars and preachers come from home and abroad, and we ask not to be disturbed,” he added.
At least one person was killed in a series of clashes between followers of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and Maulana Jubayer over establishing dominance at the Ijtema ground on the banks of the Turag River in Tongi on Saturday. More than 200 people were injured in the clashes.
What do the followers of Maulana Jobayer say?
Regarding the clashes between the factions of Tabligh Jamaat at the Ijtema ground in Tongi, the stance of the police was “baffling,” according to followers of Maulana Jobayer.
Yesterday, leaders of the Maulana Jobayer-led faction submitted 6-point demands to the Gazipur deputy commissioner, protesting the attack by Maulana Saad’s followers at the Jor Ijtema.
Meanwhile, two cases have been filed with Tongi West police station in connection with Saturday's clashes at the Ijtema ground.
Yesterday afternoon, the Tabligh Jamaat faction of Maulana Jobayer also took out a procession in Joydebpur district, protesting the attack at the Ijtema ground.
According to the memorandum, the followers of Maulana Jobayer, madrasa students, and teachers were attacked by the followers of Maulana Saad on Saturday.
They alleged that police initially stood silently, and later helped Saad followers break inside the gate.
Tongi West police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Emdadul Haque denied the allegations against the police, and said the situation on Saturday started from inside the Ijtema ground. “The police tried their best to control the situation.”
Their six-point demands are:
• To provide exemplary punishment to Saad followers Wasiful and Shahabuddin Nasimgang - who instructed Saturday's attack – and all involved within 24 hours.
• To provide compensation to the families of the deceased and the injured.
• To hand over control of the Ijtema ground to the Maulanas of Kakrail mosque as soon as possible, under the guidance of Olama-e-Keram.
• To expel and restrict Wasiful and Nasimgong from Kakrail mosque premises.
• To prevent further attacks and arrests of supporters of Kakrail mosque Maulanas, and provide protection instead.
• To take effective measures to organize Bishwa Ijtema on January 18 and 19, 2019