Radicals went on a violent spree after Friday prayers opposing the visit of PM Narendra Modi

Two factions of protestors clash after Friday prayers at Baitul Mokarram mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 26, 2021. Witnesses said violent clashes broke out after one faction of protesters began disrespecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and another group tried to stop them

The recent violence perpetrated by the Islamists in Bangladesh opposing the visit of PM Narendra Modi had backing from outlawed Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) which in the past had strong links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

ET has learnt from Dhaka based sources that JeI cadres infiltrated the protestors to create mayhem and vandalism across Bangladesh. It may be recalled that ISI in the past maintained close contacts with JeI and through them orchestrated anti-India activities.

Similar views were expressed by other Dhaka-based organisations. Islamic Gonotantrik Party chairman MA Awal has said extremists from the anti-liberation forces like Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir men have joined the ongoing programmes of Hefazat-e-Islam in the country.

He said this in a statement issued on Sunday afternoon.

Awal stated that JeI did not accept creation of Bangladesh, and even after 50 years of independence, their position has not changed. He urged the authorities to take quick legal action against JeI.

If the government investigates the prevailing vandalism of the country neutrally, it will be revealed that the defeated forces of 1971 like Jamaat-Shibir are involved in this vandalism, he added.

Urging all patriotic forces imbued with the spirit of the war of liberation to unitedly confront the communal evil forces, he said, “These attacks are being carried out by ‘Harakat-Panthi’ terrorists and extremists using ordinary students and teachers of Qawmi madrasa.”

He also blamed the Jamaat-Shibir for spreading propaganda and creating confusions among common people through social online media.

Meanwhile speaking to news agency IANS, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said, "When we pull the strings, we see that the leaders of these terror groups have been leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami before. Banned outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad, Ansar-Ullah Bangla Team, whatever... the main leadership of all of these outfits has come from Jamaat-Shibir - who was the auxiliary force of the Pakistan army in 1971. And the terrorists of Jamaat-e-Islami behind the screen planned all the tactics, and the involvement of Basherkella makes it clear that the terror outfits that always create terror and anarchy have been newly incorporated. We are looking into all the issues. No matter where they are, no one will be spared. The situation is being instigated by spreading false rumours and video through social media through Basherkella and some other pages run by the Jamaat. We are treating these as sabotage and a stance against the state."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Bangladesh, which concluded on Saturday, was significant milestone in bilateral ties. Modi conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize on Bangladesh’s founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, paid homage at the latter’s grave in his native village Tongipura, and gifted 1.2 million doses of the India-made COVID-19 vaccine to Bangladesh in addition to 3.2 million doses already gifted.