Witnesses said several hundred bigots brought out a procession in Joginagar village of Samnagar Upazial of the district, demanding that members of the Ahmadiyya community be officially declared ‘non-Muslim’. They marched towards the mosque and replaced a signboard inscribed with “It’s not a mosque and no Muslim will enter here for namaj (prayer)” instead of the “Ahmadiyya mosque”.
“The Islamist bigots captured the mosque complex in Samnagar and threatened our men to leave the locality,” Tahhidul Islam, the office secretary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Bangladesh, told Asian News International immediately after the attack.
Police had to resort to a baton charge and fired teargas canisters on the marchers. Police claimed they dispersed the mob as the Islamic bigots from the neighbouring townships gathered at Joginagar and marched towards the Ahmadiyya mosque in the afternoon.
The angry zealots threw brick-bats and stones at the Ahmadiyya mosque and houses in the adjourning areas, injuring several people.
The central office of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Dhaka said the attackers went on rampage on homes of two leaders of the community. Among are the homes of Ahmadiyya Emir Abdul Majid Sarder.
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Taking a break?
Members of the Ahmadiyya community in Bangladesh, more than 100,000 in number, have been living in fear of attacks as different Islamist groups started campaign against the Ahmadiyyas.
Pressed by the group, the Khaleda Zia’s government in January 2004 banned all publications of Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat evoking protest in home and abroad. The government order was stayed by a High Court bench on December 21, 2004.