POST TIME: 9 February, 2018 12:26:51 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 February, 2018 11:33:31 AM
One killed, scores injured as clashes erupt across country
Staff Reporter

One killed, scores injured as clashes erupt across country

The deployment of a massive security force was not enough to prevent violence in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country on the day of the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case which went against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia. The Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Ansar, and the detective branch joined the city police yesterday to maintain law and order. However, at least one person died and many were injured in clashes after Khaleda was sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling Tk. 21 million from foreign donations made in favour of the Zia Orphanage Trust.

An Awami League (AL) activist was allegedly shot dead and at least five were injured in a clash in the Kanchan Bridge area of Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj district yesterday when they obstructed BNP activists. The deceased was identified as Mohammad Sujon of Rupshi Gobindapur village in Kayetpara union.

In Dhaka, BNP activists clashed with policemen in different points of the city as they made their way to the Bakshibazar special court accompanying Khaleda’s motorcade ahead of the verdict.

On the other hand, Awami League activists allegedly hurled brickbats at the motorcade at Moghbazar.

In Dhaka’s Matsya Bhaban area, police lobbed teargas shells to disperse BNP activists. A female lawyer was reportedly injured in a scuffle between law enforcers and pro-BNP lawyers when the latter were staging an agitation in front of the High Court Mazar Gate area.

Although the Dhaka Metropolitan Police had clamped a ban on rallies and processions, activists of AL, Chhatra League, Juba League, and other bodies affiliated to the ruling party were seen on bikes in various parts of the city, including the High Court, the Dhaka University campus, Shahbagh, Jatiya Press Club, Mirpur, Gabtali, Mohakhali, Paltan, and Ramna.

The BNP, too, held protest marches in Dhaka, Mymensingh, Kishoreganj, Gaibandha, Bogra, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Noakhali, Nilphamari, and Lakshmipur. Police arrested over 600 BNP leaders and activists, including Khaleda’s special assistant Shimul Biswas, Chittagong Metropolitan BNP unit president Shahadat Hossain, and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) central president

Rajib Ahsan. In Chittagong, police had cordoned off the BNP city unit office since morning. However, around 1.30 pm, BNP activists, led by Hossain and Abu Sufian, vice-president of the city unit, allegedly hurled brickbats at the policemen. At least 32 people were injured in the clash. Jahangir Alam, assistant commissioner (Kotwali zone), said at least 10 policemen were injured, while Sufian claimed that at least 22 BNP activists were injured. Police said around 22 BNP men were detained.

Seventeen more BNP activists were arrested in Gaibandha. Shimul Biswas was picked up from Bakshibazar area, while Ahsan was arrested in Nayapaltan. As early as 4 am, a truck was torched in Sreebardi upazila of Sherpur. In Laximpur town’s Gowdwan area, at least 10 BNP activists and a journalist were injured around 3 pm when Chhatra League activists allegedly attacked them.

In Noakhali, five microbuses of Noakhali Science and Technology University were allegedly vandalised around 9.30 am. “The government has sparked panic among people over the verdict against Khaleda Zia,” alleged BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

“It won’t be surprising if BNP leaders and activists are killed in the near future,” he said.