Dhaka: Several students in Bangladesh’s capital city faced rubber bullets and tear gas on Thursday as they were protesting against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the country’s 50th Independence Day celebrations.
As many as 2,000 student demonstrators dominated by Muslims, chanted anti-India and anti-Modi slogans and asked Modi not to come to Dhaka. They accused of stoking religious tensions and inciting anti-Muslim violence in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002.
Some protesters carried posters reading “Go Back Modi, Go Back India” and “Go Back Killer Modi.”
“We fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them. There were 200 protesters. We have also arrested 33 people for violence,” police official Syed Nurul Islam told AFP.
According to student union leaders in Dhaka, around 40 protestors were severely injured with the attack by police. “18 are hospitalized,” said Bin Yamin Molla, a senior official of the Student Rights Council, which organised the protest.
Narendra Modi arrived in Bangladesh on Friday to take part in the country’s 50th Independence Day celebrations, his first foreign visit since the COVID-19 outbreak.
During his trip to Bangladesh, PM Modi will hold talks with his counterpart Sheikh Hasina and they are likely to sign a Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between the two countries.
The two nations are celebrating Mujib Borsho or the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 50 years of diplomatic ties and 50 years of Bangladesh’s war of liberation.
During his visit, Modi will tour two temples in southern rural districts, including the birthplace of a top Hindu reformer who has tens of millions of followers in the Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh.