DHAKA, Bangladesh — At least four people were killed and dozens injured in violent protests in Bangladesh on Friday, set off by the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to mark 50 years since Bangladesh gained independence.
The deaths occurred in the southeastern district of Chattogram, where students from a prominent Islamic school and members of an Islamist group clashed with the police, officials said.
Alauddin Talukder, a police official, told reporters that five injured people had been taken to a Chattogram hospital and that four had died during treatment.
During Mr. Modi’s two-day visit, his first abroad since the coronavirus pandemic began, he will also commemorate the centennial of the birth of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Bangladeshi independence leader whose daughter, Sheikh Hasina, is now prime minister.
welcomed Mr. Modi at the airport on Friday morning.
Critics in India and elsewhere have accused Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalist party of stoking religious polarization in India and discriminating against minorities, particularly Muslims. In recent weeks, demonstrators in Muslim-majority Bangladesh have urged Mr. Modi not to visit and criticized Ms. Hasina for inviting him.
Bangladeshi news outlets reported on Friday that members of an Islamist group had attacked government buildings, including a police station, in the Hathazari area of Chattogram before the clashes that led to the deaths.
Violence also broke out at the Baitul Mokarram mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, as rival groups of demonstrators clashed. Police officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, injuring scores of people, officials and witnesses said.
Protesters also set fire to offices at a railway station in the eastern district of Brahmanbaria, disrupting communications.