One killed, 100 injured as Tabligh groups clash on ijtema ground

A devotee was killed and more than hundred got injured as two groups of Tabligh Jamaat locked in a fierce clash over establishing supremacy on the ijtema ground on the bank of the river Turag at Tongi in Gazipur.

The victim could be identified as Islmail Hossain Mandal who came from Munshiganj with his son, Tongi East police officer-in-charge Kamal Hossain told journalists.

Police, meanwhile, are vacating ijtema ground in the afternoon after the bloody clash.

The injured were sent to Shaheed Ahsanullah Master General Hospital in Tongi and other private clinics.

Tension prevailed on the ijtema ground area despite police is trying to mediate between the feuding groups.

Resident medical officer at Shaheed Ahsanullah Master General Hospital M Parvez Hossain said till noon they had provided treatment to more than 100 devotees. But injured people are still coming, he said.

Some critically injured people were shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Most of the injured had wounds in their head.

The clash broke out in the morning when the supporters of Tabligh Jamaat leader of India

Maulana Saad Kandhalvi tried to enter the ijtema ground where the supporters of another leader Moulana Jubair Hassan took position since Wednesday, said police.

At one stage, the supporters of Maulana Saad broke open the main gate of the Ijtema ground and entered the maidan triggering a fierce clash with sticks and stones.

A senior member on the shura of Tabligh Jamaat in Bangladesh, who is a follower of Saad Kandalvi, told New Age seeking anonymity that a ‘jor’ (gathering prior to ijtema) was scheduled to be held from November 30 to December 4 at the ijtema ground. When several thousand followers of Saad tried to enter the venue, follower Maulana Zobayer, mostly students of qoumi madrassahs, resisted them till.

‘If there is any moratorium on holding “jor” we would leave the place. We also asked police to send back the qoumi madrassah students to their  madrassahs,’ he said.

Another   senior leader of Tabligh Jamaat Mohammad Mahfuz said there was announcement that the ‘jor’ would be held from December 7 to December 11 and followers of Saad Kandalvi made a counter announcement that the ‘jor’ would be held from November 30 to December 4.

‘As the two groups faced off, the home ministry summoned both the groups and asked them to postpone the “jor” and both the sides agreed. Despite that, followers of Saad tried to gather at the ijtema ground on Saturday that triggered unwanted situation,’ he said.  

Tongi West police officer-in-charge M Emdadul Haqe said the situation went out of control at around 11:00am when devotees staying out of the ijtema ground entered the ground breaking the lock of the gate.

‘Then a fierce clash took place between the two groups and many got injured being hit by stones and sticks. Additional police then rushed there and brought the situation under control,’ he said.   

Additional police and members of Rapid Action Battalion are deployed at the area.

This conflict between the two factions was said to be the continuation of the trouble began in the last session of Biswa Ijtema, the annual event of Tabligh Jamaat.

The groups locked into another clash over the conflict at Dhaka’s Kakrail mosque, the headquarters of the religious group’s Bangladesh chapter, in April last.

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