New Delhi (NVI): At least 10 people have been killed in Bangladesh in deadly clashes orchestrated by radical Islamist groups including Hifazat-e-Islam, over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the country, as the violence saw targeting of Hindu temples and a train by the fanatics.
Bangladesh has witnessed violence and attacks by the hardline Islamist group since Friday, the day PM Modi arrived in Dhaka on a two-day visit, to mark the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s nationhood.
The radical Islamist mob ransacked Sree Sree Anandamayee Kali Mandir temple in Brahmanbaria in Eastern Bangladesh as they broke the idols of Lord Krishna and Goddess Kali, according to a Daily Star report.
Notably, PM Modi had offered prayers at Jeshoreshwari Kali temple in Satkhira on the second day of his visit, on Saturday. This is not the first incident in which Hindu religious places and temples are targeted by Islamist elements in the Muslim-majority nation. However, the incidents involving desecration and damaging of Hindu temples and idols is higher in Pakistan.
In the train incident, at least 10 people were injured when supporters of radical group Hefajat attacked a Sonar Bangla Express, that was going to Chattogram from Dhaka, at Dakshin Poirotola in Brahmanbaria on Sunday, reports The Daily Star.
The protesters damaged the engine room and 117 window glasses of 15 coaches of the train, Brahmanbaria Railway Station master Shoeb Ahmed was quoted as saying by the news portal.
These Islamist groups, particularly Hifazat-e-Islam, have accused PM Modi of discriminating against the Muslim population in India.
The violence took place even as Bangladesh is celebrating 50 years of its independence and paying tributes to martyrs of Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 in which India had played a crucial role. During his latest visit to the neighbouring country, PM Modi also gifted 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
As per reports in local media, the police has started a case against 500-600 unidentified persons for clashing with law enforcement personnel in Dhaka’s Baitul Mukarram area on March 26 (Friday).
A fight broke out between two groups of worshippers at the end of a prayer session on Friday, according to the case dossier, reports BangladeshNews24.com.
At one point, the groups exited the mosque and the clash turned violent. The police later fired shots and tear gas to bring the situation under control, reports the news portal.
Quoting witnesses, the news portal further reports that local Chhatra League and Awami League activists clashed with a group of worshippers after they came out of the mosque following the conclusion of Jummah prayers on Friday and started delivering anti-Modi slogans.
To control the situation, Police had to subsequently use tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. Anti-Modi protesters also set on fire two motorcycles near the north gate of the mosque and hurled stones at the police, reports BangladeshNews24.com.
At least 11 people were killed in clashes in Brahmanbaria and Chattogram after the protests over Modi’s visit turned violent since Friday, according to the report. Violence was also reported from capital Dhaka where PM Modi had arrived.
Yesterday, Hifazat-e-Islam supporters clashed with security agencies and pro-government activists during a nationwide shutdown which was called over deaths during protests against PM Modi’s visit.
On his two-day visit to Bangladesh, PM Modi had visited the National Martyrs’ Memorial (Jatiyo Sriti Shoudho) in Dhaka soon after his arrival and paid tributes to the martyrs of Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.
The next day, PM also paid homage at Bangabandhu Mausoleum Complex in Tungipara and became the first-ever Head of Government to do so.