People were killed. Many were injured day before yesterday. Islamists threw stones at police, set fire to private and public property.
There were rows of bookstalls selling old books there even until Sunday noon. Hifazat-e Islam’s violent blockade of Dhaka on Sunday has gutted almost 40 of these decades-old bookstores along with thousands of its collections.
The bookstores on the opposite footpath and also those under the over bridge, seemed to have shared the same fate.
The loss continues with Hifazat supporters setting fire to another 11 stores located beside the south gate of the National Mosque Baitul Mukarram during their program Sunday. Followers of Hifazat who claim to be the keepers of Islam did not even spare the Holy Quran, books of Hadith and other religious books. The blackened pages of the holy scripture of Islam now lie scattered as ash under the pedestrian feet.
The bereaved booksellers said supporters of Hifazat-e Islam had set fire to almost 55 bookstores. Beyond 50,000 books worth approximately Tk 10 million have been destroyed in the abrupt arson attack on Sunday.
The people who had gathered to see the sight were erupting with disgust for those who assert themselves as ‘keepers of Islam’ but are also desecrators’ of the holy book of Islam.
They burned everything that they found around the streets, buses, trucks, shops. They burned thousands of copies of the Quran. The burning of the Quran, I believe, is the best thing they have ever done. No ordinary Muslim would dare to burn the Quran. But the Islamists are brave enough to do whatever they like. Who knows more than the leaders of the Islamists that the words of the holy book are not really holy. All they want is the crown. They use holy books to build a ladder to reach the crown.