Members of the Ahmadiyya religious sect in Nasirnagar are entering a state of panic over an upcoming gathering in the upazila of the Qawmi Ulama Parishad, who want to ban them by law from practising their faith.
The “Nabuyet Mohashommelon” conference is scheduled to be held at the Nasirnagar sadar helipad ground on April 1.
Although police security has been increased in Ahmadiyya areas to avoid unnecessary clashes, local leaders of the Islamic sect have applied to the UNO for security, fearing their households might be attacked.
“Our mothers and sisters are living in a state of fear regarding this huge public gathering,” the Imam of an Ahmadiyya Masjid said.
“A few days ago, an Islamic scholar said some provocative words against the Ahmadiyya sect and that is why the fear of being attacked is even greater.”
Local residents were equally perturbed by the prospect of the Qawmi Ulama Parishad conference taking place on their doorstep.
“I am getting constant threats,” said Md Habibur Rahman, of the neighbouring village of Bhitadubi.
Abdul Jalil of Bholakut Kandi village said his family was staying with relatives due to the fear of being attacked, while Abdul Salam, of Ahmadiyya Masjid, was not reassured by the heightened security presence.
“The police have given us security, but we are still very scared about the upcoming April 1 conference,” he said.
The officer-in-charge of Nasirnagar police station, Md Abu Zafar, said a letter explaining the “sensitive issue” in detail had been sent to the District Commissioner (DC).
“We will do the necessary as soon as we get directives from the DC office,” the OC said.
Brahmanbaria DC Rezwanur Rahman, however, cast doubt over whether the conference would even happen.
“A meeting was held with leaders of the Qawmi Alem Sangathan on Friday morning regarding the event,” he said.
“They have given assurance they will not have any public procession/conference on April 1. They will hold the conference at a later date upon getting permission from the DC office.”
The UNO (in-charge) Umme Salma said permission had not been sought for the conference as yet and that no directives had been issued from the DC office.