12 vehicles set on fire

50 injured in Kushtia, Mymensingh clashes

Pro-hartal activists set fire to a Gulistan-bound BRTC double-decker at Shibbari bus stop in Gazipur on the eve of Tuesday’s hartal called by BNP-led 18-party alliance.

The activists of BNP and its close ally Jamaat-e-Islami set fire to at least 12 vehicles, mostly buses, and vandalised many others in the capital and Gazipur on the eve of Tuesday’s dawn-to-dusk nationwide hartal.

The BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance called for the Tuesday hartal to protest killings and attacks on their supporters in their Sunday blockade of roads across the country.

Fire service and police sources told The Daily Star that at least 12 vehicles, mostly buses, were torched between 6:00pm and 9:00pm in different parts of the capital and Gazipur.

The pro-hartal activists set a bus of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on fire near BGMEA building at Karwan Bazar around 8:15pm.

The opposition supporters set fire to a bus at Farmgate around 8:30pm.

Around 6:15pm, another bus was set on fire at Khilgaon intersection. Locals doused the fire before fire fighting units reached the spot, fire officials said.

In another incident, some youths torched a bus in front of Mirpur Bangla College at Mirpur around 6:25pm. Fire brigade sources said the vehicle was removed from the street by its owner after locals put off the blaze before fire fighters reached the spot.

The opposition supporters torched a bus in Uttara House Building area around 7:00pm. The fire was put off after 20 minutes, the fire officials said.

A double-decker BRTC bus was set on fire at Shibbari bus stop and another bus was torched in Tongi of Gazipur in the evening.

The fire service officials told The Daily Star that three buses and a private car were set on fire at Uttara.

Police said the pro-hartal activist set a bus on fire at the Zoo Road of Mirpur.

Earlier around 3:15pm, police said a group of youths vandalised two buses at Bijoynagar around. The attackers fled when a police patrol team reached the spot shortly.

No one was arrested or injured in these incidents.

Clashes were reported in different places across the country.

At least 50 people including a policeman were injured when the BNP-led 18-party activists clashed with police in Kushtia and Mymensingh Monday afternoon.

In Kushtia, police said the clash ensued when somebody from a procession brought out by BNP hurled brick chips targeting law enforcers patrolling around the rally at Singer More (intersection) area around 5:00pm.

Additional Superintendent of Police Zoynul Abedin was hit by one of the brick chips, said Asaduzzaman, officer-in-charge (OC) of Kushtia Model Police Station, adding that the BNP men also attempted to attack police with bamboo sticks and iron rods.

Police fired around 50 tear shells, 12 rubber bullets and 20 rounds of blank shots to disperse the processionists.

A tense situation was prevailing in the town. Most of the shops remained closed after the incident, reports our Kushtia correspondent.

In Mymensingh, at least 15 people were injured when the 18-party activists clashed with police Monday afternoon.

The clash started around 5:00pm when the activists tried to bring out a procession at Natun Bazaar office, sources said.

Police used tear gas shells to disperse the demonstrators, said Abu Fazlul Karim, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station, reports our Mymensingh correspondent.

Source: The Daily Star


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