Leaders of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat yesterday alleged that a Pakistani Islamic cleric provoked a group of religious bigots into torching six tents at the persecuted community's annual convention venue in Gazipur's Kaliakoir upazila Wednesday evening.
“On February 3, the Pakistani Moulavi [Hanif Zalondhari] and some others delivered instigating speeches against us. After their speeches, a tense atmosphere was created in that area,” said Mobasherur Rahman, national ameer of the community.
He raised the allegations during a press conference at Ahmadiyya Muslims's headquarters in the capital regarding Wednesday's attacks.
The Ahmadiyya ameer demanded that the government ensure a fair trial of the alleged attackers and that the community be provided with due compensation.
Amid fear of further attacks, the community has shifted the venue to their central office where the three-day convention will start today and end Sunday.
Mobasherur Rahman said the invited Paksitani Moulavi and others gave speeches at a gathering of Khatme Nabuyyat, which was to oppose the Ahmadiyya national convention.
He also said the administration failed as the religious fundamentalists attacked the convention venue ignoring policemen who were deployed there.
“Despite assurance for security from the government's highest body, our public and constitutional rights have been shattered due to local administrations' weakness and indifference,” he said.
Mobasherur claimed that the religious bigots brought men from different places to torch the venue and trained religious fanatics led the attack.
The attackers vandalised and torched the stage, furniture, electronic devices, food- products, among others, which caused a minimum damage of Tk 4 crore, he claimed.