Blockade, hartal marked with stray violence

Three policemen, none wearing helmet, travel on a motorbike on the footpath in front of the Supreme Court in the capital on Monday when riding pillion is not permissible and the High Court bans riding on footpaths. — New Age photo













The Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance-sponsored indefinite blockade rolled into the seventh straight week and 72-hour general strike continued for the second day on Monday being marked with stray incidents of vandalism, crude bomb blasts and arsons.
The blockade and strike continued to disrupt public lives, mostly outlaying districts, with small number of buses operating on long routes during daytime across the country. Most educational institutes remained closed.
Trains were running late behind their schedules as the authorities have taken precautions following several incidents of derailment due to the acts of sabotage.
Ferry services remained unaffected by the blockade.
Law enforcers continued to arrest opposition activists, including 30 in the capital, 36 in Noakhali, 13 in Bogra, three in Barisal, four in Chittagong and several others at places.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the BNP-backed student organisation, on Monday called a three-day strike at educational institutions across the country from today protesting at persecution and killing of BNP leaders and activists by the law enforcers.
In the capital, plying of all modes of transports remained almost normal and kitchen markets, shops, shopping malls, offices, banks and business establishments remained open.
Miscreant hurled a firebomb at Kishoreganj Express train near Amirganj station in Narsingdi at about 8:30pm. No casualties were reported, said New Age correspondent.
In the capital, at least 15 people were injured, mostly by splinters, as a crude bomb went off in an anti-blockade procession led by shipping minister Shajahan Khan in Gulshan-2 intersection at about 12:30pm when the procession was on the way to besiege BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s office.
Ruling Awami League activists from the procession also vandalised a market protesting against the blast.
Earlier on February 9, crude bombs were exploded near cars of commerce minister Tofail Ahmed and environment and forests minister Anwar Hossain Manju.
A Borak Paribahan bus was set on fire at Dholaipar in the capital at about 8:15pm.
A bus and a car were set on fire at Badda on Monday afternoon and in Gulshan Ladies Club area at evening respectively.
Crude bombs were exploded near foreign ministry and Gulshan areas.
Witnesses said that Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a key ally of BNP, brought out a flash procession at Budda in the capital.
New Age correspondent in Sylhet reported that four people, including two minor boys, were injured when unidentified people hurled crude bombs at a CNG-run auto-rickshaw in Sylhet’s Mirer Maidan area on Monday afternoon.
The injured boys were rushed to Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital.
Miscreants set a microbus on fire, vandalised a car and attacked an outlet of chain-shop Aarong in the city.
New Age correspondent in Jhenaidah reported that a rickshaw puller was injured in a crude bomb blast in front of a judge’s residence in the district town on Sunday late in the night.
New Age correspondent in Bogra reported that a driver and his assistant suffered burn injuries as unidentified people threw firebomb at a coal-laden truck at Betagati of Shahjanpur upazila at about 8:45pm.
The injured were rushed to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital.
A cattle trader Abdul Kadir sustained burn injuries as miscreants set a cow-laden truck on fire at Mokamtala of Shibganj in Bogra on Monday morning. The cows were saved from fire as patrol police and local people doused the fire.
A parked coach was set on fire at Thanthania in Bogra town on Monday morning injuring the coach driver. Local BNP leader Jahangir Alam was arrested on suspicion.
New Age Tangail correspondent reported that two passengers were injured when they jumped from a Prantik Paribahan bus that was set on fire by firebomb at Paturia of Ghatail upazila at about 9:00pm.
New Age correspondent in Gazipur reported that miscreants set fire to two buses at Telipara and Joydevpur on early Monday.
Chittagong correspondent reported that a man was injured when miscreants hurled crude bomb at a bus in Didar Market area under Kotowali police station at about 2:00pm.
Pro-blockaders set ablaze a parked bus at a Sarafotullah Filling Station under Chandgaon police station.
BNP on Monday said democratic movement could never be stopped by court orders.
BNP joint secretary general Salah Uddin Ahmed made the remarks in a statement after the High Court on Sunday asked the government to prevent the ‘unconstitutional deadly blockade’ and violent hartals.
He reiterated that the current ‘peaceful’ blockade and hratal would continue until mass demands including holding a fair election under a non-party government were met.
Salah Uddin said the government is now demonstrating its existence only on television through controlling media

Source: New Age


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