Young teenagers among 119 arrested en masse from academic celebration event

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Police arrested 119 people, most of them young madrassah students, from a fresher reception at a madrasah in Khulna city on Thursday.

Witnesses said a team of 50-60 policemen, led by officer-in-charge of Sonadanga Police Station Maruf Ahmed, launched a drive at Darul Quran Siddiqia Kamil Madrasah while the reception of freshers of Alim class was underway at noon.

The OC said they conducted the drive on information that Shibir men were holding a meeting at the auditorium of the madrasah in the name of the reception. Police have claimed that the arrested include Khulna city Shibir president Mim Miraj Hossain and madrasah teacher Maulana Moniruzzaman. The rest are students of the educational institution.

In the aftermath of the incident, images of the arrested children locked up at the police station and being transported to via police vans have appeared in social media. Many of the arrested appear to be quite young in age, between 15 and 16 years old. Despite the recent furor created over the past week with regards to the brutal murder of several children in Bangladesh, relatives of the arrested children have expressed surprise at the actions of the police, terming the actions of the police inexcusable. At the same time, they demanded immediate release of those arrested.