A day before Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, the capital Dhaka and other cities echoed with “Go Back – Modi” slogans as hundreds of people took to streets to unwelcome the Indian premier for his anti-Muslim policies.
The police fired teargas shells on the protesters injuring over three dozen of them and also detained many others. Narendra Modi is due in Bangladesh to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of the country’s independence.
However, a vast Muslim population is opposing Modi’s visit as protest mounted across Bangladesh since last week.
In Dhaka, the protesting students criticized their government for inviting a prime minister who had had blatantly persecuted Muslims in India. The protesters carried banners and placards inscribed with “Modi Not Welcome” slogan and others. They also burnt the effigy of Narendra Modi.
“The police attacked us with batons and over 40 students have been injured. We have taken them to the Dhaka Medical Hospital,” Fatima Tasnim, a student leader who also suffered injuries, Turkish Anadolu Agency reported.
Demanding his government to rescind Modi’s invitation, Foez Ullah, the president of the Bangladesh Student Union, said the Indian premier’s policies went against the basics of Bangladesh’s founding principles.
Bangladesh Students’ Rights Council led by Nurul Haque Nur, former vice president (VP) of the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu), brought out a procession on Thursday morning in protest against Modi’s visit.
Activists of Juba Adikar Parishad (Youth Rights Council), youth wing of the Students’ Rights Council, also joined the procession that started from Bijoynagar.
Rashed Khan, acting convener of Students’ Rights Council, said 10 to 15 of their activists, including Nur, sustained injuries in the police action. Nur stated in a Facebook live video that he sustained injuries as police personnel lobbed tear gas shells, according to Dhaka Tribune.
He urged the people of the country to raise voice against the Indian aggression.
Modi- Also a killer of Bangladeshi citizens
The protesters said their demonstrations were also aimed at reminding their government that Modi was responsible for killing hundreds of Muslims in Kashmir and other parts of India as well as Bangladeshi civilians at border crossings.
The protesters accused Modi of stoking religious tensions and inciting anti-Muslim violence in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, which left about 1,000 people dead.
At a separate smaller protest elsewhere in Dhaka, the protesters slaughtered a cow – sacred to most Hindus – on the street, AFP reported.
According to Bangladeshi media, the police also attacked processions of Left Democratic Alliance carrying black flag in Sylhet and Rajshshi and detained 17 protesters from the places.
In Dhaka, the LDA, as a part of their countrywide protest carrying black flag, held a rally in front of the National Press Club in the morning urging the government to cancel the invitation offered to Modi.