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Dhaka Tribune

5 killed as anti-Modi protesters clash with police

At least 50 injured in Dhaka

Update : 26 Mar 2021, 05:29 PM

At least five people were killed on Friday in two separate incidents after Hefazat-e-Islam activists and madrasa students clashed with the police in Chittagong and Brahmanbaria.

Of the protesters who died in Chittagong’s Hathazari upazila, Robiul Islam, Mirazul Islam and Md Abdullah were students of Hathazari Madrasa while Md Jamil was a bystander.

The man killed during the mayhem in Brahmanbaria’s Sadar upazila was identified as Ashik.

Meanwhile, in Dhaka, at least 50 people, including several journalists, were injured after anti-Modi protesters clashed with police outside Baitul Mukarram National Mosque after the Friday prayers.

Eshtiak Emon of Ekattor TV, Amran Hossain and Probir Das of The Daily Star, M Jahangir Alam of UNB and Dipon Dewan of BanglaVision were among the wounded. Both Jahangir and Dipon sustained injuries from rubber bullets fired by police to disperse the demonstrators.

Hefazat mayhem in Chittagong

The individuals who protested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Dhaka visit in Chittagong on Friday are activist of Hefazat-e-Islam and most of them are students of Hathazari Madrasa.

They became embroiled in a skirmish with law enforcers after attacking a police station from a rally following Jummah prayers.

Photo: Dhaka TribuneFrom there, eight among the dozens injured were brought to Chittagong Medical College Hospital with gunshot wounds and four of them died, confirmed Md Alauddin, assistant sub-inspector of the hospital’s police outpost.

Witnesses said hundreds of Hathazari Madrasa students had marched towards Hathazari police station while chanting slogans condemning Narendra Modi and the Bangladesh government.

At one point, the protesters started throwing bricks at the police station, smashing its glass doors and windows and even some furniture inside, said the police, before adding that an Independence Day banner hanging in front of the station was also torn down.

The situation escalated quickly and police tried to disperse the protesters by firing tear shells followed by rubber bullets and shotguns. The clash lasted for over an hour.

Hefazat-e-Islam Publicity Secretary Zakaria Noman Fayezi said police had opened fire on its activists. “Several of our activists were shot.”

Additional Superintendent of Police (Hathazari Circle) Shahadat Hossain said: “Hathazari police station suddenly came under attack and we tried to bring the situation under control.”

Also Read - Journos among 50 injured in clash between anti-Modi protesters, police

Hefazat activists also vandalized Hathazari Land Office and postal bungalow, said Ruhul Amin, the Hathazari upazila administration chief. 

“Hefazat activists stormed the office and set the documents and furniture on fire. They also vandalized the postal bungalow of the upazila,” said UNO Amin.

Maulana Yahiya, a senior teacher and member of the Hathazari Madrasa Managing Committee, refused to comment.

Brawl in Brahmanbaria

A youth has been killed, and at least 20 others injured, including law enforcers, as students of different madrasas clashed with police in Brahmanbaria.

According to locals, madrasa students attacked the offices of the district administration, police superintendent and a police outpost after staging demonstrations at several locations in the district town by setting fire on tyres, including the railway station.

Photo: Dhaka Tribune

A clash erupted when the demonstrators attacked the deputy commissioner’s office.

Ashik, who was brought in at the state-run hospital in Brahmanbaria town in the afternoon, died while being treated at the hospital.

Superintendent of Police Anisur Rahman, however, said he was not aware of any death.

Additional police forces have been deployed in the city to keep the situation in check.

Brahmanbaria Deputy Commissioner Hayat-ud-Dowla Khan said that BGB troopers had been deployed following mayhem.

“The situation is under control now,” he added.

Clash outside Baitul Mukarram in Dhaka

All individuals injured in the clash in Dhaka were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for treatment, said Inspector Bacchu Mia, in-charge of the DMCH police outpost.

The protesters, members of various Islamist organizations, launched a demonstration and tried to bring out a procession from Baitul Mukarram National Mosque while shouting anti-Modi slogans, before a team of police intervened.

The altercation turned violent as police baton-charged the protesters. The protesters, in retaliation, hurled bricks at the law enforcement officials.

The situation escalated quickly and police fired several rounds of tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.

A group of men wearing helmets and armed with sticks were also seen at the scene, clashing with the anti-Modi protesters. They were members of the ruling Awami League, according to media reports.

Two motorcycles were set ablaze in front of the north gate of the mosque where the clash continued till 2:30pm. Another clash broke out at the south gate of the mosque and continued till 3:30pm. Three motorcycles were set ablaze this time around.

On Thursday, at least 20 people, including two journalists, were injured when some Chhatra League men reportedly carried out multiple attacks on anti-Modi protesters at Dhaka University.

Earlier in the day, over 20 people, including seven law enforcers, were injured and 32 were detained in a clash between the police and demonstrators in Dhaka's Motijheel area, over the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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