Attack on Ahmadiyya: Women fleeing home amid safety concerns in Panchagarh

‘We are not offered any type of help, even after being a citizen of this country’

Panchagarh  Ahmadiyya  Dt

Women of the Ahmadiyya community leaving houses as attackers aim to harm the women and loot Ahmadiyya houses Dhaka Tribune

Zakir Mostafiz from Panchgarh

March 7, 2023 6:02 AM

The women of the Ahmadiyya community have started to leave their houses as fear gripped the Ahmednagar area in Panchagarh due to the recent attacks. 

The whole of Ahmednagar is at a standstill due to the fire, looting, and clashes centering the annual Salana Jalsa event of the Ahmadiyya community.

Several members of the community said that as their houses were burnt down, it was impossible to live there. Moreover, many of them said they were leaving the area due to security concerns.

They alleged that the attackers aimed to harm the women and loot their houses. 

Ashrafi Begum, a member of the Ahmadiyya community, said: “We start panicking during the night, thinking we will be attacked anytime. Last night we were attacked again after some people had spread rumours.”

“Even though I taught their children the holy Quran, they torched my house. I had to spend the night near a bush with my children,” she added.

The woman further said they have been attacked several times, even though police were deployed in the area. “We are not offered any type of help, even after being a citizen of this country. Hence, we, the women, are leaving for a secure place.”

Another youth from the Ahmadiyya community, Sohel Rahman, said: “We are afraid to keep our female family members at home because of the lack of security. So, the parents are sending them to a safe place.”

“At night the fear of attack increases if the women are at home. We have not been able to sleep for the past three days,” he added.

A three-wheeler driver, Sujan Ali, said he took shelter at a local mosque and sent his wife to her father’s house due to the lack of security.

Panchagarh Superintendent of Police SM Sirajul Huda said the situation in that area was under control.

“Police, BGB and RAB have been deployed for the security of the Ahmadiyya community, including the entire Ahmadnagar where they live. Besides, those who planned the attack by spreading rumours, were arrested.”

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At least six cases have been filed and 81 people arrested in connection with the clashes between police and Muslim devotees over the Salana Jalsa event of the Ahmadiyya community on Friday.

Among those, police filed four cases with Panchagarh Sadar police station, RAB filed two cases and Ahmadiyya Muslim filed Jamaat another case.

A total of 31 named people and 8,200 unnamed ones were made accused in the cases on various charges including spreading rumours, attacks, vandalism, looting and obstructing government work, according to police.

On Friday, two people were killed and dozens, including cops, were injured in the clash between a section of Muslim devotees and police during a protest march.

On Saturday, a vested group spread rumours in different parts of the district town and on social media saying that some Ahmidyya community members slaughtered two Muslims.

The roots of the Ahmadiyya community in Bangladesh can be found over a century ago, but members of this minority group have been subjected to persecution and degradation in society regularly due to their religious convictions.


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