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25 injured

Ulama League`s human chains turn into factional fight

18 October 2015
 Ulama League`s human  chains turn into factional fight

Two factions of Awami Ulama League locked in pitched battles at a protest programme in front of Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.

Staff Reporter :At least 20 people were injured in a clash between two factions of Awami Ulama League [AUL], the religious wing of ruling Awami League, in front of the National Press Club on Saturday.Both the factions of the AUL formed separate human chains in front of the National Press Club which later turned into factional fight. The clash ensued when a faction leader Ilias Hossain Bin Helali reached the venue and came under attack of supporters of the other faction led by Akhter Hossain Bokhari at around 10:30am, witnesses said.The supporters of Ilias Hossain Bin Helali also made counter attack equipped with wood and bamboo sticks. At least 25 people were injured during the clash, witnesses said.Later, a huge contingent of police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. After the clash, the supporters of Ilias Hossain Bin Helali organised a big human chain driving away the opponent group members. According to witnesses, both AUL leaders Ilias Hossain Bin Helali and Akhter Hossain Bokhari took preparations to form human chain programmes with a view to greeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for getting Champions of Earth Award.Raising allegation against opponent faction, Abul Hassan Sheikh Shariatpuri, general secretary of Akhter Hossain Bokhari group said: "Helali group attacked us in presence of police. Ten of our people were injured. There may be more, we are collecting names of the injured persons."He said: "The injured persons were identified as Mowlana Shawkat Ali Sheikh Selimpuri, Hazi Habibullah Rupganji, Mawlana Abu Bakar Siddiqui, Mawlana Mostafa Chowdhury Bagerhati, Mawlana Lokamn Hossaain, Mawlana Md Asad, Mawlana Md Soliaman, Mawlana Nazmul Hoque, Mawlana Taqibul Islam and Mawlana Shahjahan.""We will complain to the PM about the incident. The PM sent me to Saudi Arabia this year to perform Hajj. She knows me personally. We are the actual part of Ulama League. They [Ilias Hossain group] are not real Ulama Leaguers," he claimed.On the other hand, refuting the allegation of attack, Ilias Hossain Bin Helali said: "I'm the president of AUL. They are [Akhter] agents of Jamaat. So, the general people have driven them out from here."Although the AUL claims to be affiliated with the AL, its recent statements and activities go against the ruling party's stated ideals of democracy and secularism, and also against the government's major policies and decisions.Recently, the AUL drew attention of media echoing a number of demands of Hefazat-e-Islam, a platform of qawmi madrassah teachers and students, which go against the political stance of AL.Three separate factions of the AUL use a floor of the AL central office at Bangabandhu Avenue and often AL leaders become speakers at its programmes.Interestingly, a faction of the AUL has accused the government of "favouring the Hindus" and demanded that the government revoke the minimum marriage age for girls, make a law with a provision of death penalty for demeaning Islam, ban the CHT Commission, and take all Indian TV channels in Bangladesh off the air.The AUL also demanded for cancellation of "anti-Islamic" education policy and confiscation of textbooks containing write-ups of "anti-Islamic and atheist" writers Humayun Azad, Rudra Mohammad Shahidullah, Selina Hossain, Sanjida Khatun and Kabir Chowdhury.Political observers say, the AUL regularly organises rallies, processions and human chains to press home these demands that directly go against the fundamental principles of AL.

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