One person was killed and over 200 people were injured in a series of clashes between two factions of Tabligh Jamaat for establishing control over Ijtema Maidan on the bank of the Turag River in Tongi on Saturday.
The deceased was identified as Ismail Mondal of Meliapara village in Munshiganj district.Ismail was a follower of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, top scholar of Indian Tabligh Jamaat, said Assistant Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Gazipur Metropolitan Police Masudur Rahman.
The clash broke out around 8 am when the supporters of Saad Kandhalvi tried to enter the Ijtema premises where the supporters of another India Tabligh Jamaat leader Maulana Jubair Hassan took position since Wednesday, said Traffic Inspector Asad of Abdullahpur Zone.At one stage, he said, the supporters of Maulana Saad broke open the main gate of the Ijtema ground and entered the maidan. Sporadic clashes took place between the two groups, leaving Ismail dead on the spot.
Earlier, the vehicular movement on the western side of the busy Airport Road remained halted from Airport crossing to Abdullahpur since morning as Saad Kandhalvi’s supporters attacked the followers of other faction at the Airport intersection.Then, a chase and counter-chase took place between the two groups creating panic among the city dwellers as well as creating a heavy gridlock from Mohakhali intersection to Uttara.
For the last couple of days, anti-Saad group have taken a position on the Ijtema Maidan in Tongi, said the traffic inspector adding that the clash broke out on Saturday morning when the followers of Maulana Saad tried to enter the ground.The supporters of Maulana Jubayer took position in front of the Ijtema field gate and another group obstructed them from entering the field, reports our Gazipur correspondent from the spot.
The follower of Maulana Saad started gathering in front of the maidan from 6 am on Saturday and took position in front of the main gate.Meanwhile, additional police with armoured vehicles and water cannons have been deployed to avoid any untoward situation.
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 and the largest Muslim congregation after the hajj.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.