Dhaka, Mar 3 (UNB) – At least 27 people, including a policeman, were killed and many more injured in violent clashes between law enforcers and Jamaat-Shibir activists in six districts on the first day of the 48-hour nationwide shutdown enforced by Jamaat-e-Islami on Sunday.
Jamaat enforced the shutdown from 6am today protesting the verdict of the International Crimes Tribunal-1 against its top leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee and “countrywide mass killing”.
According to reports reaching the UNB desk from across the country, 12 people were killed in Bogra, while six each in Rajshahi and Joypurhat, and one each in Jhenidah, Gazipur and Satkhira districts.
In Bogra, at least 12 people, including four women, were killed and 25 others suffered bullet wounds in separate clashes between Jamaat-Shibir men and police in the town, Shajahanpur upazila and at Mokamtala in Shibganj upazila.
Of them, five were killed in Shajahanpur, four in Shibganj upazila and three in the town.
The deceased are Alamgir Hossain, 25, Titu Mia, 25, and Badal Mia, 23, of the town, Arjina Begum, 40, Munjila Begum, 48, Asiya Khatun, 45, Aklima Khatun, 45, and Abdul Kafi, 55, of Shajahanpur upazila and Julu, 40, Ziaul Islam, 22, Obaidur Rahman Babu, 20, and Abdus Shahid, 14, of Shibganj upazila.
All the 12 people except Aklima died on the spot.
Aklima, a resident of Domonpukur village in Shajahanpur upazila, who was injured in the clash in the upazila, succumbed to her injuries at Bogra Combined Military Hospital in the afternoon.
Two platoons of army men deployed in Shajahanpur in the morning to help the administration maintain the law and order following escalating violence were withdrawn in the evening.
The army men were withdrawn from Shahjahanpur area near the Bogra Cantonment at 6 pm as the area returned to normalcy, said an ISPR release.
Earlier, the army personnel were deployed in Shahjahanpur upazila from 9am to help the civil administration maintain the law and order.
In Rajshahi, six people, including a woman and a child, were shot dead and 10 others suffered bullet wounds in a clash between BGB members and Jamaat-Shibir activists in Godagari upazila.
Three of the deceased were identified as Alim, 40, Rafiqul, 13, and Mujahid, 48, while the identities of three others could not yet be known.
Witnesses said a clash took place at Godagari Cinema Hall intersection when the BGB members tried to disperse the activists while they were demonstrating there in support of the hartal. The hartal supporters hurled brickbats at the law enforcers.
BGB members fired shots, rubber bullets and lobbed teargas canisters on the pickets at about 10am to bring the situation under control, leaving six people dead on the spot and injuring 10 others, witnesses said.
After the clash, the local administration imposed Section 144 in the upazila for an indefinite period.
In Joypurhat, six people were killed and over 50 others injured as police and BGB members fired shots on the hartal supporters in Panchbibi upazila.
The dead were identified as Nasir, Mojidul Haque, Forman Alai, Mojnu, Hakim, and Hasib of the upazila.
Police said several hundred Jamaat-Shibir workers tried to cordon off the Panchbibi Police Station when policemen and BGB members came together to protect it, sparking off a fierce clash.
The law enforcers fired shots on them to bring the situation under control, leaving six people dead.
In Gazipur, a local Shibir leader was killed as he was hit by a truck in Sripur upazila of the district.
The deceased was Abdur Razzak, 24, president of Sripur upazila unit Islami Chhatra Shibir. He hailed from Phulbaria municipality of Mymensingh district.
In Jhenidah, a policeman was killed and six other law enforcers were injured in an attack by Jamaat-Shibir activists in Harinakunda upazila. The deceased was Omar Faruq, 40, a constable of the police station.
Police said several thousands Jamaat-Shibir men brought out a procession in support of the 48-hour hartal at about 11:30 am and attacked all government offices located on the upazila headquarters premises.
On information, police and Ansar and VDP members rushed to the spot and swung into action to bring the situation under control, triggering the clash that left constable Omar dead on the spot and six people injured.
The Jamaat-Shibir men also vandalised 15-20 motorcycles during the mayhem.
In Satkhira, a man was killed and three others were struck by bullets in a clash between Jamaat-Shibir activists and BGB members at Raichpur in the town.
The deceased was identified as Mahbubur Rahman, 45, son of Mafizuddin of the area.
Sources said BGB men fired several shots when a group of Jamaat-Shibir men confined a BGB patrol team in the area around 11am, leaving Mahbubur dead on the spot and three others injured.
Earlier on Thursday, over 40 people were killed during a Jamaat-sponsored hartal. The hartal violence escalated following the announcement of death sentence against Sayedee.
Clashes, torching of vehicles and road blockade marked the first of the Jamaat-enforced 48-hour hartal in other districts.
In Chittagong, 12 people sustained bullet wounds as the Jamaat-Shibir activists, joined by locals, clashed with police, and the members of Rapid Action Battalion and Border Guard Bangladesh in Banshkhali upazila in the afternoon. The clash erupted around 2pm when the law enforcers went to repair a bailey bridge near Napora Bazar which was damaged by angry people on Friday.
At one stage, the law enforcers opened fire on the agitating people, leaving 12 injured. The condition of two of the injured was stated to be critical. The first day of the 48-hour hartal was observed peacefully elsewhere in the district.
In Thakurgaon, the hartal supporters torched two motorcycles and an auto-bike during the hartal hours.
In Chuadanga, the hartal supporters uprooted rail tracks on Uthli-Ansarbaria route at about 11 am, disrupting rail communications of Khulna with the rest of the country for three hours. Besides, the Jamaat-Shibir men torched a bus at Uthli Bus Stand crossing in Jibannagar upazila at about 5 am. They also put barricade on the road by placing logs. Police arrested eight female Jamaat activists in Alamdanga upazila.
In Dinajpur, pro-hartal activists put barricade on a stretch of 16 kilometres from Jadurmore to Kabirajhat by placing logs, disrupting traffic on Dhaka-Thakurgaon, Dhaka-Panchagarh and Dinajpur-Panchagarh highways.
Police arrested eight Jamaat-Shibir activists in Brahmanbaria.
In Natore, the Jamaat-Shibir activists set a goods-laden truck on fire at Fultala on Natore-Bogra highway early Sunday. They also vandalised another truck at Chakrampur in the district town. Meanwhile, the Section 144 imposed in Kadimchilan union in Lalpur upazila remained in force for the fourth day on Sunday.
In Jessore, hartal supporters torched a truck loaded with jute meant for export at Bypass road in Benapole at about 6 am. Jutes worth Tk several lakh were gutted before firefighters doused the blaze.
The road communications of Laxmipur district remained suspended since Sunday morning as the hartal supporters damaged the Dhaka-Roypura highway. They also staged demonstrations by placing logs in Interpol, Dalal Bazar, Rakhalia, Mandari, Charchamita, Battali Chandraganj areas.
In Comilla, Jamaat-Shibir men vandalised houses and shops of two local Awami League and Jubo League leaders in Daudkandi upazila. They blocked Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Eliotganj and Shahidnagar. They also exploded several crude bombs. Police fired around 71 rounds of bullets to disperse them.
In Rajshahi, 20 people were injured in sporadic clashes between the hartal supporters and police in different parts of the city during hartal hours. Police arrested 18 suspected Shibir men.
In Chapainawabganj, the Jamaat-Shibir men put barricade on Chapainawabganj-Sonamasjid highway on different points by placing logs and electric poles. No vehicles were seen plying the domestic or long routes. The Section 144 remained in force to maintain the law and order.
No hartal supporters were seen picketing in the city of Sylhet during hartal hours. However, no heavy vehicles plied the city roads. The Awami League-led 14-party alliance held an anti-hartal rally at the city’s Court Point.
Police arrested nine pickets in Ashulia of Savar.
In Kushtia, the hartal supporters torched two trucks. Police arrested four Jamaat-Shibir men during haral hours.
In Bagerhat, no pickets were seen. However, no buses left Bagerhat during hartal hours, causing immense sufferings to passengers.
In Sirajganj, at least 25 people were injured in a clash between the Jamaat-Shibir men and police in Belkuchi upazila. The clash ensued when the Jamaat-Shibir activists attacked the upazila Awami League office around 7am. Police fired 13 rounds of teargas shells and 22 rounds of rubber bullets.
In Barisal, no untoward incident was reported, except for vandalising four vehicles, during hartal hours. Police arrested five Jamaat-Shibir men.