Ban on riding pillion on motorbikes

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A splinter-inured college student and a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader, whose one hand was blown off at wrist while making bombs died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and three people suffered burns in a petrol bomb attack in Dinajpur on Thursday.
The latest casualties took the death toll from blockade-related violence to 33 since January 5.
The nonstop countrywide blockade enforced by the BNP-led alliance passed the 17th day on Wednesday coupled with a 48-hour general strike in Dhaka and Khulna divisions.
The general strike, which ended at 6:00am today, was called in protest against ‘killings, enforced disappearances and arrests’ and to press for early inclusive polls under a neutral government.
The Road Transport and Highways Department on Thursday imposed a ban on riding pillion on motorcycles until further order to prevent sabotage and ensure public safety.
In a release, signed by the department’s deputy secretary Mohammad Mehdi Hasan, said the ban was imposed as the department had noticed that some people riding pillion on a motorcycle were threatening public security and terrorising people by hurling bombs at vehicles.
Violence, including arson attacks, vandalism and bomb blasts, were reported from Chandpur, Jhalakati, Sylhet, Rajshahi and different areas of  Dhaka city on the day.
Activists of several ruling party-backed organisations tried to besiege BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office on Thursday. Being obstructed by police, they staged a sit-in at Gulshan-2 demanding withdrawal of the blockade.
Over 500 activists of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami were rounded up in joint force drives throughout the country from Wednesday night to Thursday evening.
In the capital, Mahbub Bappy, an activist of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, died around 5:00am after being grievously wounded in an explosion. He was making bombs in the apartment of his sister at Dhakeshwari Road in Lalbagh area when the blast occurred, said the police. His right hand
was blown off at wrist in the blast. Bappy, was a joint secretary of the dissolved JCD committee of New Market unit. His niece Happy, 13, and a minor boy, Ripon, 6, were also wounded.
Bappy died while undergoing
treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s burn and plastic surgery unit, said Partha Sankar Pal, residential surgeon of the unit.
DMP’s Lalbagh division deputy commissioner Mafizuddin Ahmed said that the 25-year old JCD leader was making bombs in his brother-in-law’s house when the explosion occurred on Wednesday afternoon.
His niece Happy, a class VIII student of Azimpur Girls High School, said she was watching TV when Bappy was ‘doing something’ sitting on the floor and suddenly it exploded in fireball.
The body was left in the morgue of DMCH till Thursday evening as no one from his family or the party he belonged to came to receive it. Police arrested nine people, including Bappy’s sister Jhumur, brother-in-law Abdul Hakim and the landlord Abul Kashem, for interrogation.
A student of Kabi Nazrul College died early Thursday from the bomb injuries he had suffered at Bangabazar on January 14 during the blockade.
Sanjid Islam Ovi, 19, a higher secondary student, lost his battle for life around 1:00am in ward 103 of DMCH.
A general strike called for Wednesday and Thursday was almost ignored in Dhaka barring stray incidents of violence and sudden processions brought out at Mirpur, Moghbazar, Jatrabari, Old Dhaka and Mohammadpur.
Eight trucks were vandalised allegedly by activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir in Chawkbazaar area on Thursday morning.
Four buses and a covered van were torched in the capital in the evening, said the fire service. No casualties were reported from the arsons.
Fire service duty officer Mohammad Ali said a public transport and a covered van were set alight in Rampura area, and three others at Kamalapur, Postagola and Gabtali in the evening.
Traffic was thinner than usual in the morning but it grew as the day wore on. Long route buses stayed off the roads. Trains continued to run behind schedules.
Police guarded key points in the capital besides patrolling the streets.
New Age Dinajpur correspondent reported that blockaders had hurled petrol bombs at a truck at Bhadgaon on Dinajpur-Panchagarh highway on Wednesday night, leaving its driver, helper and a passenger injured. The truck was badly damaged.
The truck driver, Rafiqul Islam, 45, helper Monir Hossain, 27, and passenger Abdul Malek 46, were taken to Dinajpur Medical College Hospital, said Kaharol police officer-in-charge Pritish Kumar.
In Ghoraghat upazila, blockaders set fire to a truck in Raniganj area on Wednesday night, but locals put out the flames immediately.
New Age Chandpur correspondent reported that miscreants set fire to the district Awami League office on Chandpur-Comilla road in the town around 5:15am Thursday.
Locals put out the flames immediately. A man was held in connection with the arson, said Chandpur model police OC Abdul Qaiyum.
New Age Sylhet correspondent said that two buses, a human hauler and an auto-rickshaw were torched in Dakkhin Surma and Golapganj upazilas on Thursday morning.
New Age Rajshahi correspondent reported that blockaders had hurled a petrol bomb and 10 crude bombs at goods-laden trucks, guarded by the joint forces, at Barnali intersection of the town around noon Thursday. No casualties were reported.
Over 500 BNP-Jamaat men were arrested across the country from Wednesday night to Thursday evening.
The arrests include 65 in Jhalakati, 52 in Pabna, 14 in Meherpur, 12 in Manikganj, 25 in Bogra, 23 in Sunamganj, 10 in Kushtia, 25 in Dinajpur, 19 in Chittagong, 11 in Lakshmipur, 3  in Kurigram, 9 in Sirajganj, 46 in Satkhira, 29 in Narail, 11 in Magura, 64 in Sylhet and 40 in Khulna.
Source: New Age

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