Hartal continues amid violence; 1 dead

News - Hartal continues amid violence; 1 dead
 The 36-hour hartal, enforced by the BNP-led 18-alliance, is progressing amid violence that left a truck driver dead in Bogra as pro-hartal elements took to the streets in the northern district town early Tuesday.
The victim was identified as Khokon Mia, 35, son of Jainal Abedin of Matidali Biman crossing in Bogra Sadar upazila.
Victim’s helper Rahmat said the truck carrying wheat was on its way to Bogra town from Dinajpur when a group of pickets showered brick chips on it near Barpur Bridge around 5am, leaving the driver injured.
He was rushed to Bogra Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital with injuries in his chest, where he died after admission.
Police later held six people from the area in this connection. Another truck was torched in the area following the attack.
The opposition alliance enforced the countrywide 36-hour shutdown at 6am today (Tuesday) to realise its various demands, including the release of its arrested leaders and activists.
Though the nationwide 36-hour shutdown began at 6am on Tuesday, the Bogra district BNP enforced an extended 48-hour hartal in the district from 6pm on Monday to push for the same demand.
About 50 vehicles were vandalised and five set afire at different parts of the district on Monday night.
Hartal supporters blocked the Bogra-Dhaka Highway at Noymile in Shajahanpur upazila by placing logs on Monday night.
Meanwhile, bomb blasts, arrests and torching of vehicles mark the shutdown in capital Dhaka and elsewhere of the country.
Around 11:30 am, two crude bombs went off near Awami League central office on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital, injuring a small boy, police and witnesses said.
Police detained a man from the spot as he allegedly tossed the bombs from the rooftop of Agrani Bank Building adjacent to the Awami League office. The bombs were blasted at a time when leaders and activists of the ruling party were gathering before the party office after an anti-hartal procession.
Besides, eight crude bombs were also exploded at five places in the city.
Islami Chhatra Shibir activists brought out a procession at Dakkhin Banasree in the city around 5:30am. A passenger bus was torched by the Shibir men at that time.
Hartal supporters brought out processions at 10 other places of the city, but police dispersed the processionists.
Police also dispersed a procession, brought out by BNP, and arrested a picket from near BRAC University at Mohakhali. Police held another picket along with three bottles of petrol from Khilkhet in the city around 7:30am.
Huge law enforcers were seen posted in front of the BNP’s Nayapaltan central office in the morning.
Police intercepted BNP chairperson’s advisor Shamsuzzaman Dudu when he tried to enter the party office around 8.15 am. However, police allowed him to enter the office later.
Dudu alleged that the government wants to hang onto power by keeping BNP leaders and activists in jail and said that the government has turned the country into a virtual jail.
Educational institutions remained closed, but government and non-government offices are open, though the attendance is thin. Rickshaws and auto-rickshaws are dominating the city streets because of lesser presence of motorised vehicles.
Mohakhali and Gabtoli bus terminals were found closed as no long-distance buses left Dhaka for their different destinations outside the capital.
Huge law enforcers are guarding the city streets to maintain the law and order.
Meanwhile, BNP MPs brought out a procession in support of the hartal on the Parliament premises around 9 am and hold a rally there.
In the rally they alleged that the government is arresting BNP leaders and activists in false cases and warned that their movement would not be resisted through filing case and arrest.
Meanwhile, anti-hartal processions were brought out by associate bodies and organisations of Awami League rejecting the hartal.
Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote and Dhaka division Sramik League brought out processions in front of National Press Club while Ulema League, Jubo League brought out another procession in front of Bangabandhu Avenue in the city.
At noon, Awami League supporters brought out an anti-hartal procession at Jatrabari, Zigatola and Hazaribagh.
In Sylhet, Jamaat-Shibir men exploded 12 crude bombs in the city’s Upashahar, Shahi Eidgah, Pathantula, Medina Market, Shibbari and Old Railway Station areas from 6 am to 7 am. They also vandalised three CNG-driven auto-rickshaws in Pathantula area.
A chase and counter-chase took place in the city’s Chouhatra point when police intercepted Chhatra Dal activists from picketing around 9 am. Police seized a motorbike left behind there by its owner Chhatra Dal leader Zakir Hossain.
In Gazipur, pickets tried to halt vehicular movement on roads at Tongi by exploding crude bombs and burning tyres in the morning. Police later chased them out.
In Khulana, five-six crude bombs were exploded in different places of the city. Pro-hartal activists also vandalised eight battery-run Easybike.
Sonadanga police detained 20 Jamaat men, including Sonadanga thana Jamaat Ameer Nazibur Rahman, on Monday night.
In Laxmipur, police intercepted a procession brought out by 18-party activists in the town’s Temuhani area in the morning. Protesting the incident, they staged demonstrations on Laxmipur-Ramgati road.
Seven people were injured as Jubo League activists launched an attack on a procession of Swechchhasebak Dal around 11 am at Korapara of Ramganj in the district.
In Natore, two people were injured as pro-hartal pickets vandalised two auto-rickshaws in the town in the afternoon.
Jamaat-Shibir activists blocked Natore-Dhaka highway at Harishpur point in the morning by burning tyres. Later, police removed the barricade.
In Siranganj, pickets vandalised four motorbikes and eight rickshaws in the morning.
BNP joint secretary general Salahuddin Ahmed announced the shutdown programme from a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office on Sunday afternoon. He was later taken into custody on Monday night.
The hartal call came soon after three Dhaka courts on Sunday sent 10 senior BNP leaders, including its acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, to jail in seven cases filed over March 1 violence.
Source: UNB Connect

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