Police take over Ijtema ground | Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:09 AM, December 03, 2018

Police take over Ijtema ground

Tabligh factions blame each other a day after clash

A day after the mayhem by two factions of Tabligh Jamaat at Tongi Maidan, police yesterday took control of the Ijtema venue and prevented all from entering the ground.

However, an uneasy situation still prevails around the venue. Police stood guard at every entry point as well as the Tabligh headquarters at Kakrail Mosque to prevent further untoward situations.

Both groups yesterday traded blames for the Saturday's clash in and around the Ijtema ground that left one person dead and more than 200 injured.

They also criticised law enforcers' inaction during the clash and demanded arrest of the rivals for the atrocities.

No case was filed and no-one was arrested as of filing the report around 8:00 last night.

Police would take necessary steps if the family of the deceased, Ismail Mandal from Munshiganj, comes to file a case, Emdadul Haque, officer-in-charge of Tongi West police, told our Gazipur Correspondent.

A nine-member committee has been formed to make a list of the items left by the Tabligh men during the clash and subsequent handover to the owners, said YM Belalur Rahman, commissioner of Gazipur Metropolitan Police, after visiting the site yesterday.

No-one would be allowed to enter the venue as per a government decision, he added.

After the clash, the home minister held a meeting with both the factions and decided to ban entry of all people to the venue. 

The factions -- one loyal to Indian scholar Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and the other to Maulana Zubair -- faced off on Saturday over control of the venue for holding a five-day Jor Ijtema, a gathering organised ahead of the two-phase Bishwa Ijtema.

Saad played a key role in Tabligh affairs in the past. However, there was an exception early this year as the Shura members in India and Bangladesh have become sharply divided over his alleged controversial statements.

The faction led by Maulana Zubair opposed the nomination of Saad as Ameer and even compelled the government to keep him away from the last Ijtema.

Qawmi madrasa-based Hefajat-e Islam reportedly backs this faction.

Holding a press conference at a city hotel, Mufti Anamul Hoque, a representative of the Zubair faction, said pro-Saad Tabligh men attacked them and beat them up indiscriminately, injuring several hundred madrasa students and Tabligh men.

He demanded arrest of the attackers in 24 hours, compensation and treatment of the injured and immediate steps to hold the Ijtema in the scheduled time in mid-January.

They also demanded banning some leaders (Murubbi) of their rival faction from Kakrail Mosque and urged the authorities concerned to hand over the venue to the committee of Tabligh like before.

The faction is going to submit a memorandum to the district administration today to press home its demands.

Talking to The Daily Star, Shyeikh Al Mursalin, a pro-Saad Tabligh man, said thousands of followers of Maulana Saad on Saturday gathered near the venue premises to hold the Jor Ijtema as per an announcement during last Ijtema.

“They did not allow us to enter the venue and first threw brickbats at the peaceful gathering from the rooftop of the toilets. We were more than a lakh, while they were only several thousand. We were attacked but did not hit them,” he said.

Mursalin added their rivals have no acceptance in the Tabligh community and that is why they launched the attack with the assistance of Hefajat.

The Saad faction would hold a press conference today at Dhaka Reporters Unity to describe the situation and place their demands.

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