On 26 March 2021, protests broke out in several cities, including the capital Dhaka as well as Chattogram (Chittagong), in response to a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Bangladesh’s Independence Day holiday. In Dhaka, police officers deployed tear gas and rubber bullets near the Baitul Mokarram mosque to separate rival groups of demonstrators. Reports indicate that at least 40 people suffered injuries during the unrest. There were no indications that the unrest impacted Modi’s meetings with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

In related developments, police officers in Chattogram’s Hathazari area fired rubber bullets, tear gas and several rounds of live ammunition as they attempted to disperse hundreds of anti-Modi protesters associated with the Hefazat-e-Islam group. The demonstrators reportedly marched to a police station and began throwing rocks and debris, prompting security forces to deploy the crowd control measures. At least four people were killed and dozens more suffered injuries.