Opposition’s 36-hr hartal ends amid sporadic violence

News - Opposition’s 36-hr hartal ends amid sporadic violence
 The 36-hour nationwide hartal, enforced by the BNP-led 18-party alliance, ended on Wednesday amid clashes and crude bomb blasts at various places across the country.

The opposition alliance enforced the shutdown at 6am on Tuesday to realise its various demands, including the release of its arrested leaders and activists.

In the capital, 19 crude bombs were exploded while three vehicles vandalised at different places.

Addressing a post-hartal press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, BNP chairperson’s adviser Shamsuzzaman Dudu said the shutdown was observed across the country with people’s spontaneous participation.

He claimed that police arrested over 170 opposition activists across the country during the hartal hours on Wednesday, while more than 276 injured in attacks by law enforcers and ‘ruling party cadres’. “Besides, some 570 BNP men were implicated in false cases and one was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by a mobile court.”

As on the first day, educational institutions remained closed, but government and non-government offices in the capital were open with thin attendance.

City commuters largely used rickshaws and auto-rickshaws like other hartal days as motorised vehicles mostly stayed off the streets. No long-route bus left Mohakhali and Gabtoli terminals fearing vandalism.

Huge law enforcers guarded the city streets to avoid any untoward incident. The law enforcers were also seen checking bags and other carriers of passengers and commuters.

A large number of law enforcers were deployed in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office. No leader or activist except Shamsuzzaman Dudu was seen in its office in the morning.

Miscreants exploded two crude bombs in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office around 4:55 pm.

A small number of pickets were seen picketing in support of the hartal on the city streets.

In the capital, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal brought out a procession in support of the hartal at Mirpur-13 around 6:20am and blasted four crude bombs, creating panic among the locals. Police later dispersed the procession.

Activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir brought out a procession in support of the hartal in Rayerbagh area at about 7:10 am and exploded two crude bombs.
Law enforcers later dispersed them while picketing there by torching tyres on the road.

At Pallabi, JCD activists brought out a procession in support of the hartal at about 6:45 am and two crude bombs were exploded there at that time. The activists got way when police approached them.

Hartal supporters from a procession blasted a crude bomb at Shewrapara in Mirpur at about 6.30 am and they disappeared when police appeared at the scene.

At Kajla in Jatrabari, a chase and counter-chase took place around 5:30am between hartal supporters and police when law enforces tried to prevent them from picketing.

Police foiled an attempt to bring out a procession of Shibir activists at Dhalpur around 7:20am firing rubber bullets and lobbing teargas canisters.

In Tejgaon industrial area, police thwarted an attempt to bring out a procession by the JCD men at 7:15 am.

Three crude bombs were exploded at that time. Police recovered a cracker from Curzon Hall of Dhaka University at about 7:10am.

Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebak Dal’s Dhaka city unit (South) brought out a surprise procession in support of the hartal at Fakirapul in the capital around 12:30 pm. Five crude bombs were exploded from the demonstration. Police fired two round blank shots to keep the situation under their control.

The demonstrators also vandalised two CNG run auto-rickshaws and a rickshaw in the area. In this incident, a rickshaw-puller, Babu Mondol, was injured.

Meanwhile, hartal supporters threw four crude bombs at the vehicles of two private TV channels in the city’s Shabujbagh area around 11:30 am.

Witnesses said the hartal supporters brought out a sudden procession in the area and blasted the crude bombs aimed at the vehicles of private TV channels of Maasranga and channel 24 at Atish Dipankar Road.

Sporadic incidents of violence were also reported from outside the capital.

Over 100 people were injured in clashes between hartal supporters and ruling party activists and police in different districts and 20 arrested. Around 30 crude bombs were blasted and 15 vehicles vandalised. Besides, police fired over 200 rubber bullets and teargas shells at different places across the country.

The districts include Chittagong, Gazipur, Naogaon, Bogra, Chapainawabganj, Sylhet, Brahmanbaria, Nilphamari, Naogaon, Dinajpur, Narayanganj, Khulna.

In Bagerhat, miscreants torched a Ward Awami League office in the district town early Wednesday and removed fishplates in Chandpur in the morning.

In Noagaon, the AL activists vandalised the BNP office, the house of Manda thana BNP president Moklesur Rahman and several shops.

In Feni, assailants removed a fishplate in Barahpur area in the town on Tuesday night. On information, Railway authorities repaired it.

On Tuesday, a truck driver, Khokon Miah, 35, son of Jainal Abedin of Matidali Biman crossing in Bogra Sadar upazila, was killed as pickets showered brick chips on his truck near Barpur Bridge before sunrise.

Meanwhile, a man was killed after a jeep being chased by pickets overturned on Cox’s Bazar-Chittagong Highway at Aziznagar in Chakaria upazila on Tuesday 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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