PM Modi’s visit to Bangladesh sparks protest, 4 killed

At least four people were killed and dozens injured during police crackdown over protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh on Friday.

Modi landed in capital city of Dhaka on Friday on a two-day visit to join Bangladesh’s golden jubilee of independence and the 100th birth anniversary of its founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Prior to his departure, PM Modi had said that he looks forward to having “substantive discussions” with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Friday’s was the latest in a series of protests held across Bangladesh to oppose the visit by Modi, who many Bangladeshis accuse of stoking religious tensions and persecuting Muslims in India.

“Our partnership with Bangladesh is an important pillar of our Neighbourhood First policy, and we are committed to further deepen and diversify it. We will continue to support Bangladesh’s remarkable development journey, under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s dynamic leadership,” Modi said in a tweet late on Thursday ahead of his trip.

Dozens of people were wounded, including three journalists in Dhaka when police used tear gas shells to disperse demonstrators.

After the weekly Friday prayers, the protesters planned to begin a rally from the northern gate of Baitul Mukarram mosque in Dhaka. However, the police refused to let them allow. The area quickly became a battleground as some people pelted the police with stones, prompting them to retaliate with tear gas shelling.

Hundreds of plainclothes men carrying sticks targeted the protesters as well. Police were also seen sitting in riot shielded vehicles firing on the demonstrators.

Protesters set fire to many vehicles, including a motorcycle. After nearly two hours, the police were able to get the situation under control, Anadolu Agency report.