Bangladesh violence escalates, teen dies

Three days of Islamist protests over PM Modi’s visit claim a dozen lives

March 28, 2021 09:53 pm | Updated 09:53 pm IST - Narayanganj

Members of Hefazat-e-Islam blocking traffic on the  Dhaka-Chittagong Highway  in Narayanganj on Sunday.

Members of Hefazat-e-Islam blocking traffic on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in Narayanganj on Sunday.

A teenager has died and at least a dozen people were injured during clashes between police and demonstrators in Bangladesh on Sunday, officials and reports said, in the third day of Islamist protests against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The protesters — mostly from the hardline Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam — were angry at the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Bangladesh marked 50 years of independence, accusing him of stoking communal violence against Muslims in India.

Five people died on Friday, and another six the next day, after police shot at demonstrators in several major districts across the Muslim-majority nation of 168 million people.

The 19-year-old boy died in a hospital in the eastern district of Brahmanbaria after being caught up in clashes in the rural town of Sarail on Sunday, Shawkat Hossain, a doctor at the state-run centre, said.

The cause of death was not yet known, he added.

Two other people were feared dead, Sarail’s government administrator, Ariful Haq Mridul, said.

Mr. Mridul said about 3,000 Hefazat supporters and Muslim villagers had taken part in the Sarail protests.

Govt. issues warning

Bangladesh’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan called for the protests to be halted.

“Our security forces are observing this with patience,” Mr. Khan told reporters on Sunday.

“We think if this is not stopped, we’ll take necessary actions.”

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