Bangladesh police fire tear gas, rubber bullets at anti-Modi protesters

Published March 25, 2021
Protestors clash with security officers during a protest against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, March 25. — AP
Protestors clash with security officers during a protest against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, March 25. — AP
Bangladeshis shout slogans against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, March 25. — AP
Bangladeshis shout slogans against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, March 25. — AP

Bangladesh police on Thursday fired rubber bullets and tear gas at hundreds of mainly student demonstrators who were protesting against an upcoming visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Police said the protest got out of hand as demonstrators marched in the capital Dhaka, with many throwing rocks and stones at officers, injuring at least four.

“We fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them. There were 200 protesters. We have also arrested 33 people for violence,” police official Syed Nurul Islam told AFP.

A spokesperson for the march said 2,000 mainly student protesters joined the demonstration.

The protesters accused Modi of stoking religious tensions and inciting anti-Muslim violence in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, which left about 1,000 people dead. Modi was Gujarat's chief minister at the time of the deadly religious riot.

“Some 40 protesters were injured, including 18 hospitalised with injuries from police beatings and rubber bullets,” Bin Yamin Molla, a senior official of the Student Rights Council, which organised the protest, told AFP.

At a separate smaller protest elsewhere in Dhaka, hardline protesters slaughtered a cow — sacred to most Hindus — on the street.

Modi's two-day tour to the Muslim-majority nation, starting on Friday, will cap Dhaka's 10-day celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of its independence from Pakistan.

The celebrations also mark the birth centenary of the nation's founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was the father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Leaders from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives have already attended the festivities, which started on March 17.

During his visit, Modi will tour two temples in southern rural districts, including the birthplace of a top Hindu reformer who has tens of millions of followers in the Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Opinion

Editorial

IMF package
Updated 28 Jan, 2023

IMF package

While it is crucial to seek immediate IMF funding to shore up its reserves, the govt shouldn’t focus only on short-term relief.
Dar unpegged
28 Jan, 2023

Dar unpegged

IT is over. Nearly four months after Ishaq Dar descended on the cash-strapped economy with some decidedly outlandish...
Lurking hazards
28 Jan, 2023

Lurking hazards

OVERSIGHT of illegal industrial activity occurring within residential areas in the country is weak, especially in...
Election time
Updated 27 Jan, 2023

Election time

There are concerns whether the ECP will be sufficiently able to protect the integrity of elections if they are held under partisan governments.
SCO invite
27 Jan, 2023

SCO invite

THOUGH India’s invitation to Pakistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation events in Goa later this ...
Call to arms
27 Jan, 2023

Call to arms

ONE way the state abdicates responsibility in Pakistan is by farming out its functions to the private sector. In ...