Activists of the Hifazat-e Islam group shout slogans subsequent to the useless our bodies of different activists exterior the Chittagong medical faculty hospital in Chittagong on March 26, 2021 following clashes with police throughout an illustration towards Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi’s go to to Bangladesh. — AFP/Mohammad Minhaj Uddin

CHITTAGONG: 4 supporters of a non secular group have been shot useless in Bangladesh on Friday in violent demonstrations over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tour to Dhaka, officers stated.

It comes as Bangladesh marks 50 years of independence  with celebrations targeted on its financial achievements, which activist teams say have been overshadowed by rights abuses.

Police stated 4 our bodies of members of Hefazat-e-Islam have been dropped at Chittagong Medical School Hospital after violence erupted at Hathazari, a rural city the place the group’s foremost leaders are primarily based.

“We bought 4 our bodies right here. They’re all hit with bullets. Three of them are madrasa college students and one other a tailor,” Alauddin Talukder, a police inspector on the hospital, advised AFP.

He stated at the very least 4 different demonstrators have been critically injured however didn’t say who opened hearth.

Ruhul Amin, the federal government administrator of Hathazari city, claimed as much as 1,500 supporters of Hefazat attacked a police station chanting anti-Modi slogans.

“They attacked us hastily,” he stated, with out confirming whether or not any protesters have been killed.

Hathazari is dwelling to one in every of Bangladesh’s largest madrasas and is the headquarters of the Hefazat, which was shaped in 2010.

Hefazat spokesman Mir Idris accused police of “opening hearth” at their “peaceable” supporters.

“There have been some 5,000 protesters. They have been all Hefazat supporters and so they have been largely madrasa college students. They have been protesting Modi’s go to and police actions towards demonstrators in Dhaka,” he stated.

He was referring to different smaller clashes on the compound of the nation’s largest mosque in central Dhaka after Friday prayers when police fired rubber bullets and tear fuel at brick-throwing protesters.

A minimum of 9 of those protesters have been injured, he stated.

Hefazat is understood for its nationwide community and large-scale protests demanding blasphemy legal guidelines in Bangladesh. In 2013 police clashed with tens of 1000’s of Hefazat supporters in Dhaka, leaving practically 50 folks useless.

Hefazat apart, a various vary of Bangladeshi teams — together with college students, leftist and different outfits — have been staging protests over the previous few days towards Modi’s go to.

They are saying Modi stoked spiritual tensions and incited anti-Muslim violence within the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, which left about 1,000 folks useless. Modi was Gujarat’s chief minister on the time.

On Thursday greater than 40 folks have been injured, together with 4 law enforcement officials, throughout a scholar demonstration. A minimum of 33 folks have been detained for violence.

Clashes additionally occurred on the elite state-run Dhaka College Thursday night, when pro-government scholar activists allegedly beat dozens of anti-Modi scholar protesters.

50th anniversary

The violence has overshadowed Bangladesh’s celebrations for 50 years of independence.

The previous East Pakistan emerged as a brand new nation in 1971 after a brutal warfare involving India marked by horrific abuses that Bangladesh says killed as many as three million and displaced many extra.

For many years the nation was ravaged by famines, coups and pure disasters however lately underneath Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina it has boomed economically with GDP per head greater than quadrupling since 2000.

However underneath Hasina, 73, daughter of Bangladesh’s murdered “founding father” Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and premier since 2009, the human rights state of affairs has deteriorated sharply, activists say.

“The Bangladesh authorities shouldn’t be enabled to make use of this celebratory second to put the groundwork for one more 50 years of rights violations, or to cover its abuses by presenting itself on the world stage at variance with the way it acts towards its personal residents,” a joint assertion by 9 rights teams, together with Human Rights Watch, stated.

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