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Police takes control of Ijtema grounds

  • Published at 10:46 pm December 2nd, 2018
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Muslim devotees standing outside of one of the entrances of the Bishwa Ijtema ground, as police stand guard, at Tongi on Sunday, December 2, 2018 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Every gate of the grounds was in control of the police to avoid any unwanted circumstances

Police have taken control of the Bishwa Ijtema grounds in Tongi after a clash between two factions of the Tabligh Jamaat led to a man’s death on Saturday.

No cases were filed till 4pm on Sunday about the death.

After the clash between supporters of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, top scholar of Indian Tabligh Jamaat and Maulana Jubayer took place on Saturday, police barred them from entering the Ijtema grounds.

Every gate of the grounds was in control of the police at the moment to avoid any unwanted situations.

Nazmul Alam, a pharmacy owner near the Kamarpara-Tongi road near the Ijema grounds said: “Till Saturday evening,  supporters were seen leaving the grounds. After that, police barred everyone from the place.”

Gazipur Metropolitan Police (GMP) Commissioner YM Belalur Rahman visited the grounds on Sunday. He has set up a nine member committee putting Additional Commissioner (Crime) Abu Hanif in charge of returning belongings which were left behind by worshippers at the grounds.

Commissioner Belalur said: “According to the directive of the Home Ministry, no group of the Tabligh Jamaat is allowed to carry out any programs at the grounds before the election and it will be under the control of law enforcement agencies.”

Tongi (west) police station OC Emdadul Haque said: “Ismail Hossain, 70, of Munshiganj who died at the Ijtema grounds, was sent to Gazipur morgue for autopsy. If his family files any case we will take it.”

Police officials on the abandoned Bishwa Ijtema ground at Tongi on Sunday, December 2, 2018 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Earlier on Saturday, Ismail was killed in a series of clashes between the two factions of the Tabligh Jamaat over establishing dominance at the Bishwa Ijtema grounds on the banks of the Turag River.

More than 200 people were also injured in the clashes at the Ijtema grounds in Tongi.

Tongi Ahsan Ullah Master Health Complex physician, Dr Monira Begum, said around 150 people received treatment at the hospital and more people were being admitted.

“Of them, 25 people who were severely injured, were transferred to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, and other hospitals,” she said.

Supporters of Indian preacher Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, and Maulana Jubayer’s supporters, engaged in sporadic clashes, chases, and counter-chases for several hours since morning, said OC Emdadul.

“The trouble mongers also vandalized a number of cars and motorcycles parked at the Ijtema grounds,” he said.

The clash broke out around 8am on Saturday when supporters of Saad Kandhalvi tried to enter the Ijtema premises where the supporters of Maulana Jubayer had taken up position.

At one stage, the supporters of Maulana Saad broke open the main gate of the Ijtema grounds and swarmed in.

Sporadic clashes took place between the two groups, leaving Ismail dead on the spot and scores of people injured. The Tabligh men hurled brickbats at each other and attacked each other with sticks.

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