Bigots attack Ahmadiyya community in Rangpur
Religious bigots allegedly with links to Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday launched an attack on Ahmadiyya community in Taraganj upazila of Rangpur, leaving 15 people injured.
They set fire to two houses and attacked a religious establishment of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at at Kismat Mena Nagar village in the upazila, local sources said.
Mostafizer Rahman, officer-in-charge of Taraganj Police Station, told The Daily Star that a group of people attacked the houses of Ahmadiyyas over the construction of a mosque by the community.
Members of the Ahmadiyya community claimed that local Jamaat leaders Abul Kasem, Abdul Kader and Kazi Rafiqul Islam led the attack.
“Following an announcement on loudspeaker against Ahmadiyyas, several thousand people around 2:00pm equipped with sticks made the attack,” they added.
The mob set ablaze two houses of the community, the OC said, adding that police had arrested 11 people for their alleged involvement in the attack.
“But we are yet to identify their political affiliation,” he said.
Around 20 Ahmadiyya families live in Kismat Mena Nagar under Hariar Kuti union, and all male members of these families are hiding in fear of further attacks, sources said.
Witnesses said a chase and counter chase took place between the mob and the law enforcers when a police team led by Upazila Nirbahi Officer Syed Farhad Hossain went to the spot to quell the violence at 2:15pm.
Police fired several tear gas shells to disperse the mob.
The mob also snatched a camera and mobile phones from the daily Prothom Alo Taraganj correspondent Rahidul Islam and assaulted him physically as he was taking footage of the fire.
Rahidul was later admitted to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
“Police at first retreated from the spot when the religious bigots attacked them. On receiving information, a large number of police members rushed to the area and brought the situation under control,” the OC told The Daily Star over the phone.