4 die in Manikganj picket-cop clash

50 hurt, 17 with bullets; daylong hartal in Manikganj for Monday protesting the killings

Marauding pickets block a road during a clash at Gobindaganj Notun Bazar in Shingair of Manikganj on Sunday. Photo: Banglar Chokh
Marauding pickets block a road during a clash at Gobindaganj Notun Bazar in Shingair of Manikganj on Sunday. Photo: Banglar Chokh

Four people were killed and 50 injured when police, attacked by marauding pickets, opened fire in Singair upazila of Manikganj during the countrywide daylong hartal on Sunday.

Of the deceased, three died in Manikganj while another succumbed to his injuries after being taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Meanwhile, Khelafat Majlish, one of the eight so-called Islamist parties who enforced the countrywide daylong shutdown, called a daylong hartal in Manikganj district for Monday to protest the deaths of its ‘activists’.

Moulana Mohammad Salahuddin, general secretary of the party’s district unit, confirmed the hartal news to the correspondent.

The deceased were identified as Alamgir Hossain, 35, a farmer; Nasiruddin, 30, a husk businessman; and Nazimuddin Mollah, 26, an expatriate, of Gobindol area in the upazila; and Shah Alam, 20, an Alim student of Muslimnagar Rashidia Madrasa and a residence of Zoilla village in the upazila.

Several police men, including Md Liakat Ali, officer-in-charge of Singair Police Station, were also injured during the clash. Liakat was undergoing treatment at the Singair Upazila Health Complex.

Earlier, Khelafat Majlish claimed that the deceased were their party activists.

But villagers refuted the party claim identifying the deceased as locals.

The clash erupted around 9:00am when pro-hartal activists attacked a procession of Awami League led by district unit General Secretary Abdul Majed Khan at Kashimnagar in the upazila.

Around 10 AL leaders and activists were injured during the clash.

Later in retaliation, AL activists vandalised the BNP office in the upazila.

As the news of office vandalism spread, pickets put barricades on a road in Gobindol area by placing logs.

Witnesses said the stick and machete-wielding pro-hartal activists also brought out a procession in the area protesting the vandalism.

As police rushed to the spot and tried to disperse them, a chase and counter-chase took place between police and the pro-hartal activists, leading to the nearly three-hour long clash.

Police fired around 200 gunshots and teargas shells during the chase and counter-chase to bring the situation under control while the pro-hartal activists retaliated with hurling brick chips.

The processionists also attacked police with bamboo sticks, forcing the law enforcers to open fire on the rowdy activists, leaving the four people killed and 50 injured.

During the clash, villagers also helped police to disperse the activists, witnesses said.

Source: The Daily Star

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