Several Islamic parties in Dhaka protested over the communal clashes going on in New Delhi, the capital of neighbouring India, over the new citizenship law. Hundreds of people under the banner of different Islamic parties gathered at the north gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in the capital after Jumah prayers on Friday.
The protesters brought out a procession from Baitul Mukarram National Mosque vowed to resist Indian Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Dhaka at any cost. Addressing the procession, Hefajat-e-Islam Vice-president Nur Hossain Kasemi said that India’s hard-line Hindu groups, patronised by its government, have prepared a blue print to torture millions of Muslims.
If the peaceful people and the international community do not protest strongly by now, it may disrupt the global in no time, he warned. Leaders and activists of other Islamic parties including Jamiat Ulama e Islam Bangladesh, Bangladesh Khilafat Majlish, Bangladesh Khilafat Andolan, Islami Oikya Andolon, and Bangladesh Muslim League took part in the demonstration.
Large number of police were deployed near the mosque and its adjoining areas to avoid any untoward situations. India’s hard-line Hindu nationalists watched anti-government protests centered in Muslim communities for months in anger that finally boiled over in the worst communal rioting in New Delhi in decades, leaving 40 people dead and the Indian capital shell-shocked. Tensions had been building over a new citizenship law that critics see as a threat to India’s secular society and a way to further marginalize the country’s 200 million Muslims.
The streets where the rioting occurred, in Muslim and Hindu areas alike, resembled a war zone. Helmeted, camouflaged and baton-wielding police marched down pavements littered with broken glass and charred vehicles as residents peered fearfully from behind neighborhood gates they had locked from inside.
The citizenship law passed in December, seen as a precursor to a nationwide citizen’s registry that would culminate in the jailing or deportation of foreigners, appeared to embolden both his followers and his opponents. The rampage by the mobs, mostly Hindus attacking Muslim homes and places of worship, was a jarring reminder of the rising religious tensions under Modi.