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One killed, over 150 injured in Tabligh Jamaat's factional clash
A man was killed and more than 150 people were injured in a clash between two factions of Tabligh-Jamaat today over establishing supremacy on Ijtema ground on the bank of the river Turag.
While talking to Bdchronicle, Officer-in-charge of Tongi East Police Station Kamal Hossian confirmed that Ismail Mondol, 65, hailing from Rampal union of Munshiganj was killed in the clash.
The activists also vandalised around 10 to 15 private cars and at least 40 motorcycles during the clash.
The clash ensued after Fazr prayer when the followers of Tabligh-Jamaat leader Saad Kandhalvi tried to enter the Ijtema venue where the supporters of Moulana Jubair Hassan took position since Wednesday, police said.
Around 138 people were given treatment at Tongi Ahsan Ullah Master Health Complex, our staff correspondent reports quoting Ashish Kumar Banik, emergency medical officer of the hospital.
Among them, condition of 26 are stated to be critical, the medical officer said adding that they were referred to different hospitals including Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Around 80 percent of the victims sustained injuries in their heads, Ashish Kumar Banik said.
Informed about the clash, Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur Dewan Muhammad Humayan Kabir rushed to the spot around 3:45pm and asked all to vacate the Ijtema ground within half hour.
The home minister has called for an emergency meeting immediately to talk over the issue, the DC said while talking to the reporters.
Earlier in the day, a section of Tabligh-Jamaat men blocked a single lane of Airport Road for four hours till 3:45 following the clash, resulting in heavy traffic gridlock in the area.
Supporters of top leader of Tabligh Jamaat Maulana Saad Kandhalvi's and their rivals broke into a chase and counter-chase when they were heading from Airport to Tongi where their rivals had taken position earlier, said officer-in-charge of Biman Bandar Police Station Noor-e-Ajam told Bdchronicle.
Witnesses said the chase and counter-chase took place when supporters of Kandhalvi tried to go to Tongi.
A good number of law enforcers from different law enforcement agencies including Rapid Action Battalion were deployed in and around the area to avert further clash.
Rab was overseeing the overall situation in and around the area by boarding helicopter.
WHAT DID SON SAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF HIS FATHER?
Deceased Ismail MondolÕs son Jahid Hasan said his father was a follower of Moulana Saad Kandhalvi who entered the ijtema ground around 11:00am.
At one stage of clash, a group of Hefajat students swopped on his father with sharp weapon, leaving him dead on the spot, Jahid claimed.
WHAT IS THE CONTROVERSY CENTERING SAAD KANDHALVI?
In the face of stern opposition from a faction of Tabligh Jamaat, noted Islamic scholar Moulana Saad Kandhalvi had to return to New Delhi last year without being able to join that yearsÕ Biswa Ijtema, the second largest religious congregation of Muslims after Hajj.
The radical Islamic organisation Hefajat-e Islam has initially tried to prevent Saad's arrival because they were strongly opposed to his participation in the Ijtema.
Their opposition stemmed from allegations of what Hefajat leaders claimed to be Òcontroversial statements about the Quran and SunnahÓ that Saad had made.
As protests broke out on the very day he arrived last year, law enforcers had to escort him to Kakrail mosque.
The protesters chanted slogans against him for what they claimed were his Òcontroversial comments about the Koran and SunnahÓ to audiences in India.
WHAT IS TABLIGH JAMAAT?
Tabligh Jamaat, known as a non-political global religious movement, came into being in 1927 in India. Moulana Ilyas Kandhalvi founded the religious movement, which has an estimated 70 to 80 million followers in more than 150 countries, majority of whom are based in South Asia.
Its largest chapter is in Bangladesh with an estimated 15 million members. They travel in small groups from one place to another, stay in mosques and invite people to perform daily religious duties.