Activists from Islamist teams set a motorbike on hearth throughout a conflict with the police as they protest in opposition to the go to of Indian Prime Minister Modi in Dhaka on March 26, 2021. — AFP/File

Protests in  Bangladesh intensified  on Saturday as 1000’s of individuals took to the nation’s streets, following clashes between protestors and police that left 5 useless a day earlier. The demonstrations had been staged in opposition to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s go to.

The violence, which started Friday on the major mosque within the capital Dhaka, rocked a number of key districts within the Muslim-majority nation of 168 million, leaving scores injured.

A spokesman for the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), which additionally acts as a reserve paramilitary power for legislation and order, stated it had deployed troops since Friday night time, with out disclosing the numbers concerned.

Authorities additionally appeared to have restricted entry to Fb after pictures and stories of Friday’s violence had been shared on the social media website.

However on Saturday, 1000’s turned out to protest in opposition to police having opened hearth and in opposition to Modi’s go to for independence day celebrations, following requires nationwide demonstrations from Hefazat-e-Islam.

A number of thousand supporters of Hefazat staged protests at Hathazari, a rural city outdoors the nation’s second largest metropolis which witnessed the worst violence on Friday when 4 protesters had been shot useless.

Hefazat spokesman Jakaria Noman Foyezi informed AFP that round 10,000 college students of Hathazari Madrasa, a spiritual faculty, had been on the street blocking a key freeway linking the port metropolis with the nation’s hill districts.

Ruhul Amin, the federal government administrator of the city, stated Hefazat supporters put up makeshift partitions and dug up the street to dam visitors, however that there was no violence.

Mohammad Jahangir, a senior Chittagong police officer, stated border guards, police and the elite Speedy Motion Battalion have been deployed to the city.

Within the northern district city of Habiganj, police fired rubber bullets and tear gasoline at some 200 protesters from the principle opposition social gathering, police inspector Syedul Mostafa informed AFP.

“They grew to become unruly and pelted rocks at us. We fired rubber bullets and tear gasoline to disperse them. We’ve got arrested 10 folks for violence,” he stated.

The Manabjamin newspaper stated a minimum of 50 folks had been injured. Native media additionally reported clashes at Gazipur, simply north of Dhaka.

Within the capital itself, a whole bunch of protesters gathered on the Baitul Mukarram Masjid, the nation’s greatest mosque.

An AFP correspondent on the scene stated the protesters, who chanted slogans in opposition to Modi, had been Hefazat supporters.

Strike name

The disturbances got here as Bangladesh marked 50 years of independence, with rights teams calling for an finish to rising authoritarianism together with compelled disappearances and extra-judicial killings.

“The scenes of violence we witnessed… observe a worryingly acquainted sample of behaviour by the Bangladeshi authorities,” rights group Amnesty Worldwide stated, referring to Friday’s violence.

“The suitable to peaceable protest has come beneath concerted assault, significantly throughout the coronavirus pandemic, culminating in one of these bloody repression,” stated Sultan Mohammed Zakaria, Amnesty Worldwide’s South Asia Researcher.

Hefazat, which was behind the protests on Friday in over a dozen locations, has additionally referred to as for a strike on Sunday.

Hefazat is thought for its nationwide community and large-scale protests demanding Bangladesh introduce blasphemy legal guidelines.

In 2013 police clashed with tens of 1000’s of Hefazat supporters in Dhaka, leaving practically 50 folks useless.

In addition to Hefazat, a various vary of Bangladeshi teams — together with college students, leftists and different teams — have been staging protests in opposition to Modi’s go to.

They accuse Modi and his Hindu-nationalist authorities of stoking non secular tensions and inciting anti-Muslim violence together with within the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 when 1,000 folks died.

Modi visited two key Hindu temples in rural districts of southern Bangladesh on Saturday.

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