DACCA: One person died and about 400 persons were injured in a fierce two-hour clash between the Jamaat-i-Islami volunteers and the members of the public at Paltan Maidan today [Jan 18]. Condition of four others was stated to be grave. Until late at night 115 persons had been admitted to the hospital.

The clash developed when a speaker, Amir Jamaat-i-Islami, Chittagong, Prof. Usman, criticised the six-point and the 11-point programmes as separatist and dubbed their protagonists as un-Islamic. Protests were followed by stone-pelting as the volunteers rushed to trouble spots with lathis.

Amidst confusion an announcer said that the troublemakers were being chased out by “our volunteers”... The public meeting was organised by the Jamaat for Maulana Abul A’la Maudoodi. The Maulana was not present on the dais. The meeting, first to be organised by Jamaat-i-Islami at Paltan Maidan ended in pandemonium. After the Jamaat volunteers left the venue, the pandal with lathis stacked on it, was burnt. At the impromptu gathering speakers criticised the Jamaat-i-Islami for what they called its “anti-Pakistan and anti-people role”. They were also warned to desist from “anti-Bengalee activities”.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2020