At least 22 vehicles were torched at different parts of the capital ahead of the BNP-led 18-party alliance’s 48-hour countrywide hartal beginning at 6am on Monday.
Police detained 15 suspected pro-hartal activists from different of the city till 7:30 pm on Sunday.
Police, quoting witnesses, said a bus was torched by hartal supporters near the north gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque around 12:55pm.
Another bus was torched at Malibagh around 1:35pm, while two near BNP’s Nayapaltan central office and near Ananda Cinema Hall in Farmgate area in five minutes from 2pm.
One minibus was set afire near Eden College around 3:15pm while another near Kalyanpur bus stand at 3:30pm and a CNG-run auto-rickshaw was torched near Aarong showroom in the city’s Moghbazar area around 7:40 pm.
Locals caught a young man, Shanta, from the spot on charge of torching auto-rickshaw.
Auto-rickshaw driver Raju Ahmed said the vehicle was torched by three people including Shanta, who stopped the vehicle to go to Mohammadpur around 7:40pm.
However, locals put out the fire and caught Shanta. He was handed over to police after a mass beating.
A bus was set on fire at Banani level-crossing around 8:30 pm while another in front of Pallabi police station around 9:15 pm and another on Gulshan Link Road at about 9:20 pm.
Besides, a covered van was torched at Tejgaon bus stand at 8:10 pm while a pickup at Pirjangi Mazar around 9:20 pm, a leguna (human hauler) at Agargaon around 9:38 pm and a truck at Aero-plane intersection on Bijoy Sarani around 9:45 pm.
Sources at Dhaka Metropolitan Police said seven more vehicles were torched in Matsyasbhaban, Segunbagicha, Chankharpole, Nagarbhaban, Madhumita Cinema Hall Lalbagh and Mirpur areas till 7:30 pm.
Meanwhile, three physicians were injured as pro-hartal elements hurled a crude bomb at a private car carrying the trio at Hatirjheel in the city’s Rampura area on Sunday night.
In another incident, miscreants exploded two crude bombs in front of the residence of Dhaka University Vice-chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique around 9:50 pm.
The 18-party alliance called the hartal after police raided the BNP central office on Monday evening and arrested over 150 leaders and activists of BNP, including its acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, vice chairmen Sadeque Hossain Khoka and Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abedin Farroque, BNP joint secretaries general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed and Amanullah Aman.
The alliance had given the government until Thursday to release the detained leaders and thus avert the shutdown.
Though three of the BNP leaders — Mirza Fakhrul, Khoka and Altaf Hossain — were released the following day, the remaining leaders and workers sent to jail.