Demanding that the government officially declare the Ahmadiyya community “non-Muslim”, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Acting Secretary General Maulana ATM Masum issued a statement on March 5.
The statement released on Jamaat’s website says: “Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country where 90 percent people are Muslims. In this country, Qadiani (Ahmadiyya) community is committing reckless activities against Islam. The Islam-loving people will never accept it. The government’s role in this regard is questionable.”
“The government should resolve the Qadiani crisis permanently paying full heed to the public views and also to declare Qadiani Non-Muslim officially,” the statement added.
On Friday, a protest march against an Ahmadiyya religious event moved towards the Ahmednagar area in Panchagarh. As police stopped the procession at Chowrangi intersection, the men started throwing brickbats at the law enforcers, according to reports.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells to disperse them, witnesses said.
Two men died and scores, including policemen, sustained injuries in the clash. Some journalists covering the violence were also among the injured. Shops in Panchagarh town were closed down as violence induced panic among people.
The angry mob also looted around 20 houses belonging to the Ahmadiyya community located in Ahmednagar.
According to a report published in The Daily Star today, the Ahmadiyya community in Panchagarh district are living in fear of further attacks from hardliners.
Many members of the community, particularly the elderly, women and children, have left their houses and are taking shelter in educational institutions or relatives’ homes, adds the report.
Meanwhile, since Friday’s violence, a series of tweets were posted from the verified account of Basherkella – known as a “Jamaat mouthpiece” – with “police brutality” and “boycott Qadiani (Ahmadiyya)” in hashtags.
Members of the community are calling this a “hate campaign” against Ahmadiyyas.