Police raid Chittagong madrassa; 35 detained on allegations of links with opposition

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Police arrested at least 35 students in a raid at Darul Uloom Alia Madrassah Chittagong, in the aftermath of a cocktail throwing incident directed at police at Chandanpura area under Kotwali thana, Chittagong.

The police raid, followed by the arrests, occurred at about 1:45 pm on Saturday afternoon. The detained students, many of them clad in household attire, were seen to be assembled and later led to the police station.

Police have claimed that several activists and leaders of Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir are among the detained students. Kotwali police station officer-in-charge AKM Mohiuddin Selim, while briefing the media, confirmed the news of the arrest of 35 people from the Chandanpura Darul Uloom Alia Madrassa. However, he said that all of the arrested were not activists of Shibir, and that the general students from among them would be released after a process of questioning and gathering of required information. 

The arrests come amidst a countrywide crackdown upon the opposition by security forces in Bangladesh, in response to a blockade enforced by the opposition. Moreover, the incident follows a spate of similar raids on several educational institutions in the country, and comes only two days after the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Wednesday ordered the police to take whatever steps necessary to stop the alleged on-going violence by opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami across the country during the blockade and hartal.