Nationwide protest against suspended BJP leader
Thousands of protesters brought out several processions yesterday in Dhaka and other parts of the country, condemning suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nupur Sharma's remarks on the Prophet of Islam.
Multiple processions were brought out after Jumma prayers from Dhaka's Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, in presence of an additional police force.
The protesters demanded maximum punishment for the suspended BJP leader and called for a boycott of Indian goods.
Leaders of Islami Andolon Bangladesh, which led the protest in front of Baitul Mukarram, called for a parliament motion condemning the controversial remarks.
After the rally, Islami Andolon announced a mass procession towards the Indian High Commission in Dhaka on June 16 around 11:00am.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Bangladesh and Islami Oikya Jote also brought out processions in the same area.
In a written statement, Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh Amir Mohibullah Babunagari condemned the remarks and urged the Indian government to take stern action against them.
He also urged the Bangladesh government to issue a strong statement like those of other Muslim countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Qatar.
During the protests, Mohammadpur Police Station OC Abul Kalam Azad and ASI Jahangir Alam were assaulted by protesters in Dhaka Udyan area, after the OC asked them to free the road.
The two police officers are currently undergoing treatment at National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital.
A police sub-inspector, deployed in Adamji Bihari Camp area of Narayanganj, was beaten by protesters inside Adamji Jame Mosque around 1:30pm yesterday. A journalist was also assaulted while trying to save the officer.
The injured were identified as Syed Azizul Haque, SI of Siddhirganj Police Station, and Billal Hossain Robin, staff reporter of Daily Manabjamin. They were later rescued by Siddhirganj police.
Protests were also held in Savar, Manikganj, Khulna, Barishal, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Pabna and Joypurhat.
During a recent televised debate, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma made some comments on the Prophet, sparking a furore among Muslims.
BJP on June 5 said Nupur was suspended from the party's primary membership, while BJP's Delhi media head Naveen Jindal was expelled for disrupting communal harmony.
Nupur later withdrew her statement on social media.