Hundreds of students clash with police and border troops in the eastern district of Brahmanbaria as the Prime Minister of India ends his visit.
At least five people were reportedly killed and dozens injured in eastern Bangladesh as security forces opened fire to suppress protests against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Hundreds of students from religious schools clashed with police and border troops in the Brahmanbaria district on Saturday. Police said they had to open fire to control the violence.
“We received three bodies shot and two others died of their injuries later,” Abdullah Al Mamun, a doctor at the government-owned Brahmanbaria General Hospital, told Reuters.
A local policeman confirmed that five were dead but declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, according to the news agency. Bangladeshi police have not officially confirmed the death toll.
Violence began in the capital, Dhaka, on Friday and continued to rock several districts in the predominantly Muslim nation of 168 million, where many groups accuse Modi of alienating minority Muslims in majority India. Hindu.
At least four supporters of the Hefazat-e-Islam group were kill Friday after police opened fire when protesters allegedly attacked a police station in the southeastern city of Chittagong. Dozens of people were also injured in Dhaka on Friday when police used rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes with protesters.
On Saturday, hundreds of Hefazat-e-Islam and other groups marched through Chittagong and Dhaka to protest the deaths of their supporters.
“The police opened fire on our peaceful supporters,” the group’s organization secretary Azizul Haque said at a rally in Chittagong. “We will not let the blood of our brothers go in vain.”
Hefazat-e-Islam called a national strike on Sunday to protest the killings. Amnesty International has also criticized the actions of the police in Chittagong.
“The right to peaceful protest has come under concerted attack, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in this type of bloody crackdown,” said Sultan Mohammed Zakaria, Amnesty researcher in South Asia, in a statement.
Modi landed in Dhaka on Friday, his first international trip since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak last year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence.
He left the country on Saturday after meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and donating 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccines to the country.
The two countries issued a joint statement celebrating their cooperation and partnership, but the government of Bangladesh has not commented on the protests.
Facebook services were not available in Bangladesh on Saturday, the social network said, adding that it was gravely concerned about how it was being restricted at a time when effective communication was needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“We know our services have been limited in Bangladesh,” Facebook said in a statement. “We are trying to understand better and hope that full access will be restored as soon as possible.”
The Bangladeshi government has not said whether it has blocked Facebook and its Messenger app, but it has already used internet shutdowns as a tool to curb the spread of protests.