Bangladesh Riots Result in Death and Injury

In the capital city of Bangladesh, riots are taking place, resulting in at least 3 deaths and over 100 injured.

Police said that at least 200,000 protesters marched into central Dhaka, where fierce clashes occurred between rock throwing protesters, and security officials.  They marched in chanting slogans such as ;  “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is greatest!”) and “One point, One demand: Atheists must be hanged”, shouted the activists from Hefajat-e-Islam.

Another 100,000 blocked the road to Tongi town, which connects the capital to the northern region.

Authorities have reported dozens of injuries to the police.  They said they have been firing rubber bullets and throwing tear gas canisters into the crowd.  Scores of journalists were injured and beaten up by Hefazat and Jamaat men.

As security forces continued to fire the rubber bullets into the crowd, they retaliated and began torching vehicles and shops, attacking government offices and beating policemen with sticks.

Hefajat, a newly created radical Islamist group, is demanding the death penalty for all those who defame Islam.  It said it staged the mass protest to push a 13-point list of demands, which also include a ban on men and women mixing freely together and the restoration of pledges to Allah in the constitution.

Hefajat leaders have threatened to launch a campaign to oust the government unless their demands are met.

This new Islamic group of men has met stiff opposition by women’s groups when it opposed the ‘National Women’s Policy’.  They in turn plan a rally on Dhaka on May 9th.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express