Bangladesh: Protests erupt over PM Modi's visit, 4 killed after police fire rubber bullets

1 month ago 6

At least four protesters from Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh were killed in the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong on Friday after police fired rubber bullets at protesters during a demonstration against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Protests against PM Narendra Modi's visit were also flared in the capital Dhaka, where dozens of people, including two journalists, were injured in clashes with police.

The police fired at the protesters during a demonstration against PM Narendra Modi as he began his visit to the country to participate in the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh's independence.

Earlier, activists of the same group had set ablaze the bungalow of upazila nirbahi officer (UNO), a land office of the upazila administration and attacked Hathazari police station.

Some of the members of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, an Islamist group opposed to the visit of PM Modi, went to Hathazari police station with a procession and vandalised the compound of the police facility, the police said.

According to the police sources, the cops retaliated after the protesters vandalised the compound of the police station.

Hefazat-e-Islam activists also set ablaze the UNO bungalow and the land office of the upazila administration "in protest against PM Narendra Modi's Bangladesh visit" after Jummah prayer on Friday.

In another incident, clashes took place between the priestesses and the Dhaka police in front of the national mosque, Baitul Mukarram, on Friday after the afternoon prayers.

The anti-Modi procession had begun after some people gathered and started protesting the arrival of the Indian premier.

The city which has been on alert given the high-level visit, activated the police forces to quell the crowd which led to the clashes. The people who were planning such protests had been forewarned against doing anything that could hinder the national celebrations of 50 years of liberation and 100th year birth anniversary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of the nation.

The 10-day long celebrations have already been attended by leaders from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. PM Narendra Modi was the chief guest on the last day of the event which also was Bangladesh's Independence Day.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh government has deployed border guards in parts of Bangladesh amid the radical group Hefazat-e Islam’s call for protests and a general strike.

On Friday evening, Hefazat-e-Islam leaders called countrywide demonstrations on Saturday and a general strike on Sunday against what they called were “attacks” on the members of the organisation.

Abdur Rab Yusufi, an aide to Hefazat chief Junaid Babunagari, announced the programmes at a press conference at the Khelafat Majlish headquarters in Dhaka.

Border Guard Bangladesh has deployed members of the force in a number of districts following the home ministry’s orders, said Lt Col Fayzur Rahman, a director of the BGB, according to Bangladeshi media reports.