Dhaka, Mar 6 (UNB) – Some 30 people, including top BNP leaders and four journalists, were injured, mostly with bullets, as police opened fire on a BNP rally in the city’s Nayapaltan area on Wednesday afternoon.
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, its joint secretary general Amanullah Aman and Dhaka city unit member secretary Abdus Salam and four journalists — Saiful Islam of the Daily Ittefaq, Badal of Banglanews, Nur Hossain of the Daily Naya Diganta and Nahim Ahmed Julhas of the Daily Independent — suffered bullet injuries.
The BNP activists who were injured with bullets include Jaheda, Rafiqul Islam Patwary, Jabed, Shamim, Elias, Sohel and Ziaul.
Witnesses said a crude bomb was exploded near Nightingale crossing around 4:30 pm when the BNP rally protesting the arrest of its leaders and activists and repression on them was in progress in front of its central office.
Soon after the crude bomb blast, police started firing from the Nightingale crossing and moved towards the rally, leaving many people injured. The law enforcers also lobbed several teargas shells.
Meanwhile, a private car was torched in front of the BNP Nayapaltan office at about 4:45 pm.
Mehedi Hasan, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Motijheel), told reporters that the Jamaat-Shibir activists joined the last part of the BNP rally at the Nightingale crossing to carry out subversive activities. “We had to swing into action to disperse the Jamaat-Shibir men after they exploded cocktails,” he said.
He also said they had been warning the BNP high-ups since morning that the Jamaat-Shibir activists might carry out destructive activities at their rally. “But they didn’t pay heed to it.”
While being whisked off to hospital, BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan alleged that the government exploded the crude bomb as part of a conspiracy to foil their rally.
Asked about the allegation, Mehedi Hasan turned it down.