In Chittagong, hardliners clash with police over PM Modi visit; 4 dead

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Four people, who were part of a gathering in Chittagong of the hardline  outfit that has been opposing ties with India, were killed and at least 60 others injured in Dhaka during clashes Friday between the police and protesters against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Bangladesh.

In the port city of Chittagong, clashes broke out between Hefazat-e-Islam activists and the police during a demonstration in the afternoon. Reuters quoted officials as saying that the protesters tried to attack a police station.

Jahirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Chattogram Medical College Hospital police outpost, told The Daily Star that four people were brought dead while seven injured were admitted for treatment.

Protesters demonstrate in Dhaka on Friday against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (AP)

Hefazat-e-Islam

Hefazat-e-Islam is a fundamentalist group that has been at loggerheads with the Sheikh Hasina government over the past 10 years. It has demanded action against atheist bloggers and asked women to veil themselves, and its members recently attacked a Hindu-majority village in Sunamganj district over a Facebook post.

In Dhaka, the protests took place about 3 km from the hotel where the Prime Minister is staying. Among the injured were two photojournalists of The Daily Star newspaper, as protesters tried to organise a procession in Dhaka’s Baitul Mukarram National Mosque area.

Immediately after prayers, demonstrators started chanting slogans against Modi’s arrival near the south gate of the mosque, prompting police to fire rubber bullets, local media reported. All the injured were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Paltan Police Station officer-in-charge Abu Bakkar Siddique told The Daily Star: “No one was arrested in this connection. Several police members were also injured during the clash…” No case was filed in this regard, the officer said.

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