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Bangladesh Islamic parties vow to resist Indian PM’s arrival in Dhaka

Thousands of Islamist political activists on Friday held rallies and brought out processions in Dhaka protesting against Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Bangladesh and vowed to resist him in the country.

They blamed Modi for recent killing of Muslims in Indian capital New Delhi for protesting against ‘communal law’ of Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens and termed him ‘a killer of Muslims’.

Modi is scheduled to visit Bangladesh on March 17 to join the state program marking the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary.

One of the protests was organised by the Samamana Islami Dalgulo, a combine of like-minded Islamist parties, while the other protest was organised by the Islami Andolan Bangladesh. They staged demonstrations at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque premises and adjacent areas to press home their demands.

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As the demonstrations were in progress amid huge presence of police, severe traffic jam occurred in adjacent areas including Bijaynagar, Fakirerpul, Purana Paltan, Gulistan and Topkhana Road for nearly three hours.

The Samamana Islami Dalgulo announced to form countrywide human chain on March 12 and urged the protesters to take to the streets carrying black flag, shoes, brooms and wearing shrouds.

The Islami Andolan Bangladesh declared to arrange prayer sessions in mosques on March 13 seeking divine blessings for oppressed Muslims in India and to hold demonstrations in all the upazilas of the country on the day.

After jumma prayers, the protesters under the banner of Samamana Islami Dalgulo gathered at Baitul Mukarram national mosque’s north gate and its adjacent roads and alleys holding banners and placards featuring photos of Modi and oppressed victims in New Delhi.

Within minutes, they brought out a procession from the mosque that ended in front of Hotel Ekattar on Shaheed Syed Nazrul Islam Sarani of Bijaynagar.

The protesters carried placards reading ‘Stop killing Muslims in India’, ‘Resist killer Modi’s visit to Bangladesh’, ‘Modi is a terrorist’, ‘Go back Modi’, ‘Stop brutality, save humanity’ and chanted slogans against Modi and his upcoming Dhaka visit.

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During the procession, a good number of protesters had been advancing with kicking and beating the photos and effigy of Modi with shoes.

Addressing the rally in front of Hotel Ekattar, Islamist leaders said that they were not against India or its people but against Modi and his cabinet’s home minister Amit Shah as they were masterminds of the attacks on Indian Muslims that killed dozens and injured hundreds.

Saying that they would welcome any other Indian leader in the Mujib Year programmes as Mujib was a democratic and non-communal national leader, they urged the government to cancel the invitation of Modi as he was a communal one and his hands were stained with bloods of Muslims.

Addressing the rally as the chair, Jamiat Ulama e Islam Bangladesh leader and Hefazate Islam’s Dhaka city amir Nur Hossain Kasemi announced to form countrywide human chain on March 12.

He urged the people to join the demonstrations wearing shrouds after Asr prayers.

He criticised the government saying that this government had come to power by snatching people’s votes and was not understanding the people’s sentiment. He said that they would resist Modi’s Bangladesh visit at any cost.

He said that they would announce their further agitation programme on March 12.

Jamiat Ulama e Islam Bangladesh vice-president Md Yusuf, Khelafate Majlish secretary general Ahmad Abdul Quader and joint secretary general Mahmudul Huq, among others, also spoke.

Leaders and activists of Jamiat Ulama e Islam Bangladesh, Hefazate Islam, Khelafate Majlish and Islami Andolan Bangladesh joined the demonstration.

Later, Islami Andolan Bangladesh held a rally in front of Baitul Mukarrom where its nayebe amir Syed Muhammad Foyjul Karim announced that their party would bring out processions in all the upazilas against Modi’s visit to Bangladesh.