Some 22 people were injured as a mosque of Ahmadiyya community came under attack in Madarganj upazila of Jamalpur district on Friday.
Members of the community said a group of 70-80 people — emerging from a local mosque following Juma prayers — carried out the attack equipped with lethal weapons. They said they were then listening to the Friday sermons at their mosque at Folarpar village in Jorkhali union of the upazila.
Shahidul Islam, president of the Madarganj upazila unit of Ahmadiyya community, said he donated the land to build the mosque for his community.
On the occasion of its inauguration, Ahmadiyya Imam Moulana Hafej Abul Khayer was invited. When the sermon was going on around 1:30pm, all on a sudden a group of people attacked them, said Shahidul, also resident of the village.
Other guests — including SM Asaduzzaman Razib, an Ahmadiyya imam of Hosnabad village in Sarishabari upazila of the district, and Faridul Islam, president of the upazila unit of the community — also got injured during the attack.
Razib alleged that the attack was carried out under the leadership of Monirul Islam Monir, religious affairs secretary of the upazila unit of Awami League. Soon villagers rushed to the spot and rescued the people from further beating, Razib said, adding that he had informed the local police over the phone.
On information, police rushed to the spot and took the people of the community to the police station on security grounds, said Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Madarganj police. This correspondent could not reach Monirul for his comment.
But the OC said Monirul and his men were asked to visit the police station.
The issues were settled there after both sides agreed that they would refrain from any untoward incident in future, added the OC.
Meanwhile, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at expressed its concern over the attack saying that the attack was a part of an ill attempt to turn the country a ‘fundamentalist and militant’ one.
In a statement, it said a vested quarter is trying to make chaotic situation ahead of the national elections. It also feared the recurrence of such incidents in future.
The statement also blamed so-called waz mahfil (religious discussion) for misleading people and instigating them.
The community demanded that the authorities concerned take measures to bring perpetrators of the incidents to justice.