A minimum of 4 folks have been killed and scores injured in violent protests on March 26 set off by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in Bangladesh to rejoice its fiftieth anniversary of independence.
The casualties occurred after college students from a outstanding madrasa or Islamic college 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 remedy. 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 faculties, attacked authorities buildings, together with a police station and a land workplace, at Hathazari space in Chattogram earlier than police took motion.
At Dhaka’s essential mosque, clashes broke out between teams of demonstrators and police dispersed the group through the use of tear fuel and rubber bullets — injuring scores of individuals, officers and witnesses stated.
The protesters additionally set hearth to workplaces of a railway station in jap district of Brahmanbaria, disrupting prepare communications.
Modi’s two-day go to, his first overseas because the coronavirus pandemic started, will embody commemorating 100 years because the beginning 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.
Bangladesh is a key accomplice in India’s “neighborhood diplomacy,” and Hasina’s authorities has largely welcomed the eye. As Abhijnan Rej famous in an summary of Modi’s go to, earlier than the Indian prime minister arrived Hasina’s overseas affairs adviser described India as Bangladesh’s “most vital neighbor.”
Nonetheless, Modi is just not as standard on the grass-roots stage in Bangladesh.
Critics accuse Modi’s Hindu-nationalist celebration of stoking non secular polarization in India and discriminating in opposition to minorities, notably Muslims. In latest weeks, demonstrators in Bangladesh have urged the Indian chief to not go to and chanted anti-India and anti-Modi slogans. Additionally they have criticized Hasina for inviting him.
Exterior 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 celebration. The celebration criticized the opposite protest faction for making an attempt 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 no less than 40 folks have been injured, together with journalists, and have been taken to the Dhaka Medical Faculty Hospital for remedy.
Abdul Mazid, a businessman who joined the prayer, advised The Related Press that he was trapped within the mosque after making an attempt to flee when violence erupted throughout 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, nevertheless it was not instantly clear which teams they have been representing. The official spoke on situation of anonymity in step with laws. He declined to present 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 principally centered on Bangladesh’s anniversary celebrations, the go to additionally has a political agenda at residence, as voting begins on March 27 in a number of state-level elections, together with West Bengal, which borders Bangladesh.
With an eye fixed 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 neighborhood again in West Bengal. The Matua sect’s vote is predicted to find out the winner of no less than 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 nations share a significant relationship.
“Our partnership with Bangladesh is a crucial pillar of our Neighborhood First coverage, and we’re dedicated to additional deepen and diversify it. We are going to proceed to assist Bangladesh’s outstanding improvement journey, below Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s dynamic management,” he stated.