Clashes break out at Baitul Mukarram area
Clashes break out at Baitul Mukarram areaFile photo

Some 500-600 people were made accused in a lawsuit filed in connection with the clashes that broke out in the capital’s Baitul Mukarram National Mosque area on Friday, police said.

The case has been lodged with Paltan police station in the capital, said the police station’s officer-in-charge Abu Bakar Siddique.

The OC said the case was filed on the night of 26 March. Some 500-600 unknown people were made accused, he added.

The clashes broke out between the devotees and police and the leaders and activists of ruling Awami League and its associate bodies over the visit of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday. At least 70 people including 10 journalists were injured in the clash.

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Indian prime minister Narendra Modi arrived in Bangladesh on 26 March on a two-day state visit to attend the twin programmes of the golden jubilee of the Liberation War and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A number of political parties and organisations were protesting against the visit of Narendra Modi.

Witnesses said Baitul Mukarram National Mosque area turned into a battleground as clashes erupted between the devotees and the ruling party men after the Jumma prayer on Friday afternoon.

As soon as anti-Modi protesters started chanting slogans, leaders and activists of the ruling party’s student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), who had taken position in the mosque area earlier, swooped down on them with local weapons at the mosque’s north gate area, chanting ‘Joy Bangla’.

They continued beating the protesters for five minutes. The protesters backed away and entered the mosque. After a while the protesters attacked the ruling party men which ensued in chases and counter chases.

Police fired tear gas shells and blank shots at the mosque to bring the situation under control.

When the violence somewhat abated around 3:30 in the afternoon, many people tried to get out of the mosque through its south gate, but the ruling party men assaulted them. Around 4:45pm, police dispersed the ruling party men.

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Protesting against the attack on anti-Modi demonstrations in Dhaka, the students of Hathazari madrasa in Chattogram brought out a procession in the afternoon that day. Clashes ensued between the protesters and police. Four people were killed as police opened firing. Protesting at the incident, madrasa students demonstrated in Brahmanbaria that afternoon. They set fire to Brahmanbaria rail station and various government establishments. A person was killed during the demonstrations there.

Hardliner Islamist organisation Hefazat-e-Islam enforced a day-long hartal across the country for Sunday in protest of the death of five people in Chattogram and Brahmanbaria on Friday.

Violent incidents were reported in different parts of the country during the hartal. Three people were reportedly killed in Brahmanbaria on Sunday. With this, at least 14 people were killed in the three days during violent demonstrations in Brahmanbaria and Chattogram.

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