50 hurt as bigots attack Ahmadiyyas in Satkhira |
10 houses looted
Our Correspondent, Satkhira
Religious bigots led by the International Khatme Nabuwat Movement Bangladesh (IKNMB) yesterday attacked the Ahmadiyya community, injuring over 50 people including women and children, and looted at least 10 houses at Sundarban Bazar of Shyamnagar upazila.
Supporters of the anti-Ahmadiyya outfit, which has long been campaigning for a government move to declare the sect non-Muslim, had a signboard posted on the local Ahmadiyya complex. It reads 'A place of worship for the Ahmadiyya Community, Sundarban Bazar' and it advises Muslims not to mistake the place as a mosque.
Ahmadiyyas in Sundarban Bazar were in a panic, as the police did not yet take any measures to ward off further attacks on the sect, said locals. They also alleged that physicians did not attend in a timely manner to the injured, who were undergoing treatment at Shymnagar Hospital.
Witnesses said that nearly 15,000 IKNMB members brandishing sticks, machetes and darts started marching towards the Sundarban Bazar at about 1:00pm. IKNM Nayeb-e-Amir Mufti Nur Hossain Nurani and central leader Mohammed Muntasir Ahmed led the procession.
As it reached near the Ahmadiyya mosque at Sundarban Bazar in Jotindryanagar, 65 kilometres off the Satkhira district headquarters, Ahmadiyyas led by Maolana Abdul Awal tried to keep the bigots from hanging the signboard. Incensed at the resistance, the IKNMB followers started throwing stones at them and injured over 50 people, including six women and some children.
At one stage, when police stationed in the area fired blanks in the air, Ahmadiyya members moved backwards and the IKNMB members stepped forward to hang the signboard. At the request of police, the IKNMB leaders handed over the signboard to them, which the police then hung for the bigots, in the presence of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sohrab Hossain, Superin-tendent of Police in Satkhira Abdur Rahim, and Magistrate Mina Masuduzzaman.
Immediately after hanging of the signboard, the bigots started looting the houses belonging to Ahmadiyyas.
Money in cash, ornaments and other valuables were taken away from the houses of GM Sabbir, GM Mobarak Ahmed, SM Wahid, Abdul Mazid Sardar, SM Matiar Rahman, GM Abu Daud, GM Rois Ahmed and many others.
Police said they arrested an Ahmadiyya with bomb-making materials at the site during the melee. The arrestee, Abdul Wahab, hails from Azimpur of Dhaka.
Earlier at about 10:00am, the IKNMB held a rally at the Haringar High School premises.
Police at an Ahmadiyya mosque in Satkhira hang a banner that reads, 'This is a place of worship for Kadianis, no Muslim should mistake it for a mosque ', as the anti-Ahmadiyya zealots look on yesterday. PHOTO: STAR