Threat By Bigots
Mirza Shakil and Rashidul Hasan
Male members of Ahmadiyya Muslim community at Chandtara village under Ghatail upazila of Tangail are afraid to go back in their houses following continuous threats by the religious bigots.
Women and children of some 32 Ahmadiyya families of the village are panic-stricken and living with food crisis and insecurity.
Irate at the move to rebuild an Ahmadiyya mosque in the area, religious bigots allegedly patronised by local BNP and Jamaat leaders vandalised and looted almost all houses of the Ahmadiyyas in a series of attacks on June 17, August 7 and 8 leaving 20 people of the community injured.
Under the banner of “Imam parishad”, a group of locals led by Imam Mufti Nasiruddin of Ghatail upazila parishad mosque has been campaigning against the Ahmadiyyas in the village for long.
Abu Taher Akanda, a member of the community told The Daily Star, “Local bigots hanged sign boards at different places in the village saying Kadianis [Ahmadiyyas] have no iman [faith]. They are infidel. No rickshaw puller should carry them and no shopkeeper should sell any items to them.”
Abu Taher, an Ahmadiyya member, said, “All male members except those who are elderly and sick are afraid to return home since the August 7 attack as they are facing continuous threats from the religious fanatics.”
Lutfar Rahman Akanda, another Ahmadiyya member, said among the male members of his community, only one seriously ill Hasem is now staying in his house while the rest are out.
Hasina Begum, wife of Mohir Uddin Akanda, said she is facing an acute food crisis as the supply of food given by the district administration after the August 8 incident has already run out.
“They [attackers] are giving us threats on phone that they will abduct us,” she said, adding, “We are also passing sleepless nights because of fear.”
Bilkis, wife of Abul Kasem Akanda, said Ahmadiyya women feel insecure as some of the attackers always move around and also peep into their houses at night despite the presence of police.
They alleged that a group of locals led by union parishad member Akbar Hossain attacked them, vandalised and looted their houses.
But Akbar denied this allegation saying, “Ahmadiyyas can say anything as they have no iman (faith) at all.”
Meantime, a four-member Ahmadiyya delegation led by its Missionary-in-Charge Abdul Awal Khan Chowdhury has met Tangail deputy commissioner and acting superintendent of police at their offices.
They sought permanent security for the Ahmadiyya males so that they can return home and live normal lives.
Ahmadiyya chief Awal said the district administration has assured them that necessary security measures will be taken in this regard.
Tangail Deputy Commissioner M Bazlul Karim Chowdhury said Ahmadiyyas could come back to their houses, as normalcy has returned to the village.