January 13, 2018, 2:12 pm
Indian noted Islamic scholar Maulana Muhammad Saad Khandhalvi on Saturday left Dhaka in the face of stern opposition from a faction of Tabligh Jamaat.
Saad arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday to attend the Biswa Ijtema amid street protests in front of the Shahjalal International Airport.
As the protesters, mostly students and teachers of Qawmi madrasas, blocked the entrance to the VIP terminal to prevent him from coming out of the airport, law enforcers escorted him through another exit and took him to Kakrail mosque.
The demonstrators, mostly belonging to radical Islamist group Hefajat-e Islam-run Qawmi madrasas, blocked the busy Airport Road to protest his arrival. They also chanted slogans against him for what they claimed were his “controversial comments about the Koran and Sunnah” to audiences in India.
Later, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Thursday told journalists that Maulana Saad will not attend the 53rd Biswa Ijtema. He will be staying at Kakrail mosque and go back to India at his convenient time.
The first phase of the congregation began on Friday and will be ended on Sunday.
Tabligh Jamaat has been organising Biswa Ijtema, also called the World Muslims’ Congregation, every year since 1946.
In 2011, the organisers split the congregation into two phases to deal with overcrowding, ensure better management and security.