Clashes rock Bangladesh

Updated 30 October 2014

Clashes rock Bangladesh

DHAKA: Workers of religious parties clashed with police in several Bangladesh cities on Thursday as part of a nationwide strike to protest against a top Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader being sentenced to death for war crimes, police said.
Officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas at rock-throwing protesters who tried to block several key highways in the northwestern cities of Bogra and Rajshahi, police officers told AFP.
Protesters exploded cocktail bombs in Bogra, a stronghold of JI, local police chief Saifuzzaman Faruqui said.
“At least 140 JI activists have been arrested from the city to prevent violence,” he said. Nearly 100 activists were also arrested from Rangpur region, police said.
Demonstrations and sporadic clashes also erupted in about a dozen other towns and cities, local media reported, as JI supporters took to the streets to enforce the three-day strike starting on Thursday.
The clashes came one day after a court convicted Motiur Rahman Nizami, the JI leader since 2000, of mass murder, rape and looting during the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
The war crimes tribunal sentenced Nizami to death for his role as head of a pro-Pakistani militia blamed for killing some of the country’s top intellectuals, doctors and journalists. Similar verdicts against some of Nizami’s top lieutenants plunged the nation into one of its worst crises last year as tens of thousands of JI activists clashed with police, leaving hundreds dead.
JI called the strike in protest, accusing the secular government of ordering the trials against its leaders as part of a witch-hunt against opposition figures. On Thursday schools, colleges and private businesses were shut across the country as the strike took hold.
Highways were deserted as inter-city bus and lorry services ground to a halt, while deliveries from ports were suspended.
Police also fired rubber bullets at protesters in Rajshahi and the northern town of Mithapukur after they tried to block roads, police officials told AFP, adding that the Rajshahi head of JI was arrested on charges of planning subversive activities.


Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

Updated 23 February 2020

Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

  • Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it
  • The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India

NEW DELHI: Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law, police officials said.
Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.
“There must be some miscreants who want to spoil the peace in the area. We will identify them and take action against them,” Alok Kumar, a senior Delhi police official, told reporters about the protest.
“The situation is under control now,” he added.
The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India, where he is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases the path for non-Muslims from neighboring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests against Modi’s government.
The Indian law is seen by opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi’s administration is undermining India’s secular traditions.
Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias against the country’s 180 million Muslims.
On Sunday, a separate protest also erupted in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, where protesters threw stones at the police, state administration official Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
The Internet in the area had been suspended until midnight, he added.