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Bangladesh: Ahmadiyya mosque, houses burnt, 15 injured in clashes

‘The administration tried to hold a peace meeting. But it was not held as the Sunnis did not attend. A group suddenly gathered at Bara Masjid and went to the mosque the Ahmadiyyas were building and burnt it down along with two houses.’

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int’l Desk
Source/Credit: New Age | Online
By New Age Correspondent | November 7, 2012

An Islamist group on Wednesday afternoon burnt a tin-shed mosque the Ahmadiyyas were erecting and two houses of the community after an administration move for holding a peace meeting at Menanagar of Taraganj in Rangpur.

At least 15 people, including policemen, students and newsmen, became injured as the police stopped the group at Kisamat Menanagar of Hariakuthi. The Islamist group had used PA system to mobilise people since the morning.

The Menanagar Ahmadiyya Jamaat president, Akkasur Rahman, said that the mosque and two houses, including his, were completely burnt.

The Taraganj police officer-in-charge, Mustafizur Rahman, said, ‘The administration tried to hold a peace meeting. But it was not held as the Sunnis did not attend. A group suddenly gathered at Bara Masjid and went to the mosque the Ahmadiyyas were building and burnt it down along with two houses.’

‘We immediately intervened and dispersed the crowd by firing gunshots and teargas shells. Seven of the policemen were also injured,’ he added.

The police officer said that there had been a long-standing conflict between the Ahmadiyyas and the Sunnis centring on the construction of the Ahmadiyya mosque.

The Sunnis have been pressuring the Ahamadiyyas living in the village for a couple of weeks to leave their religious believes after the community started erecting the mosque.

Witnesses said that the Sunnis had mobilsed people at Bara Masjid at Menanagar using the PA system and then they, carrying weapons, had marched towards the under-construction Ahmadiyya mosque and burnt it. They also burnt two houses, of Akkasur Rahman and his brother Mizanur Rahman.

The upazila nirbahi officer, Syed Farhad Hossain, along with the police visited the spot when the group of Sunnis clashed with the police. The police fired 12 teargas shells to disperse the mob and retreated at one point.
Mizanur’s son Milan, 10, and daughter Ripa, 12, were in the house during the attack. They escaped unhurt into a safe place and the police later took them in safe custody.

The mob also beat up Rahidul Islam Mia, the Taraganj correspondent of Prothom Alo, when he was taking photographs of the attack. He was admitted to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.

The visited the place in the evening again and picked up 12 people in connection with the attack. The Sunnis then again clashed with the police, who had to fire 40 teargas shells to disperse the crowd.

Police deployment at the place has been reinforced. Farhad said that the situation was under control at night.
The police officer-in-charge Mustafiz said that they were preparing to file a case.

The local Ahmadiyya Jamaat president Akkasur Rahman said that local Jamaat-e-Islami leader Nur Hossain, also a former union council chairman, was instigated the people by forming Ahmadiyya Nirmul Committee.

Nur Hossain said, ‘They are only six to seven people who misinterpret the Qur’an and do not recognise the last prophet. So the committee has been formed.’

Akkasur said that the Rangpur city Jamaat nayeb-e-amir, Noor Hossain, was also behind the instigation.

Akkasur said at the Eid congregation, Noor Hossain had said, ‘The Ahmadiyyas would be captured even if they hide under the soil.’

Noor Hossain told reporters that he could instigate people as he lives in the city. But he said that he had earlier announced at the Eid congregation that the Ahmadiyyas would be declared non-Muslims by enacting a law. ‘But I asked people not to harass or assault the Ahmadiyyas.’

Read original post here: Bangladesh: Ahmadiyya mosque, houses burnt, 15 injured in clashes

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