Baitul Mukarram National Mosque area has turned into a battleground as clashes erupt between devotees and ruling party men on Friday afternoon. The clashes broke out as a section of devotees had started to demonstrate protesting against the visit of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi after Juma prayer.
As soon as anti-Modi protesters started chanting slogans, leaders and activists of ruling party student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) swooped on them with local weapons at the mosque’s north gate area.
They beat the protesters up for five minutes. The protesters backed away and entered the mosque. After a while the protesters attacked the ruling party men which ensues a chase and counter chase.
Police fired tear gas shell and blank shots towards the mosque to bring the situation under control.
Tensions were prevailing at the area till 2:15pm as of filing this report.
Earlier, a big number of ruling party men had taken positions in the mosque before the Juma prayer starts. Some ruling party men were also took position in the roads adjoining the mosque. Police and RAB men were deployed in the area.
A high official of police, on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo that they will take action if anyone tries to bring out a procession after Juma prayer.
Earlier on Thursday, Jubo Odhikar Parishad activists locked in clash with police in the city’s Motijheel area while protesting against the Indian prime minister’s visit.
On Thursday evening at Dhaka University campus, left leaning students' organisations were attacked allegedly by BCL men activists during demonstrating against Modi’s visit. At least 14 people including journalists were injured at the attack.
Meanwhile, the Indian prime minister arrived in Dhaka on Friday on a two-day state visit to attend the celebration programme of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.