Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi, former rector of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam, popularly known as Hathazari Madrasa and chief of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh
Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi, former rector of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam, popularly known as Hathazari Madrasa and chief of Hefazat-e-Islam BangladeshFile photo

Security has been tightened in four upazilas of Chattogram to avoid any untoward situation over the burial of the rector of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam, popularly known as Hathazari Madrasa, Allama Shah Ahmed Shafi, reports news agency UNB.

Allama Shafi, also chief of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, breathed his last at a hospital in the capital on Friday evening at the age of 104, within 24 hours of resignation from his post at the Hathazari Madrasa in the face of student protests.

His namaj-e-janaza will be held on the madrasa premises after Zohr prayers today and be buried at the madrasa's graveyard.

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Sources at the Chattogram district administration said additional police and members of Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have been deployed in Hathazari, Patiya, Rangunia and Fatikchhari upazilas.

Along with police, 20 platoons BGB and RAB members will be on duty, led by seven magistrates, in the four upazilas

Seven magistrates have been deployed to maintain law and order in the upazilas from Saturday morning. Among them, four magistrates will be on duty in Hathazari upazila, said Md Omar Faruk, an assistant commissioner at the deputy commissioner's office.

He said additional security measures have been taken to prevent any unpleasant situation at Hathazari madrasa centring the student protests and the closure of the institution.

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The education ministry on Thursday declared closure of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam until further order due to breaching of health guidelines issued to curb novel coronavirus outbreak.

Along with police, 20 platoons BGB and RAB members will be on duty, led by seven magistrates, in the four upazilas, the official said, adding that all the security measures have already been placed.

Students of the madrasa had demonstrated on Chattogram-Khagrachhari road and vandalised furniture inside the madrasa on Wednesday demanding removal of Anas Madani, the eldest son of Allama Shah Ahmed Shafi.

Following the protests, Anas Madani was withdrawn on Wednesday night.

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The protests turned violent after the ministry of education issued a notification on Thursday closing the madrasa for an indefinite period.

Under the circumstances, Shafi announced his resignation from his post during a meeting of the madrasa’s Shura committee around 10:30 on Thursday night.

Later, he fell sick and was admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital. When his condition deteriorated, he was brought to Dhaka by an air ambulance on Friday afternoon.

He died there around 6:30pm.

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Shah Ahmad Shafi was also the chairman of Bangladesh Qawmi Madrasa Education Board.

He was born in 1916 (1334-35 AH) in Rangunia of Chattogram and was educated at Hathazari madrasa and Darul Uloom Deoband, India.

Shafi started his career as a teacher at Hathazari Madrasa in Chittagong.