Violence marks first hours of hartal(Shutdown); BCL leader killed

A leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) was killed in an attack by hartal supporters at the Gopalpur upazila headquarters in Tangail district during the first hours of the opposition’s second day of hartal on Tuesday.The deceased was identified as Imran Sarker, 20, joint secretary of upazila unit of BCL, the student wing of the ruling Awami League.
In Tangail, police said a group of BCL and Awami League activists brought out an anti-hartal procession in the area around 8 am. At that time, BNP and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists jointly attacked the procession, leaving three ruling party activists, including Imran, injured.
Imran succumbed to his injuries while being moved to Tangail General Hospital.
Later, in a crackdown on the opposition activists, police arrested two JCD workers in connection with the attack.
In the capital, the shutdown was marked by vandalising of vehicles, arrests, cocktail explosions and arson attack on vehicles.
Seven vehicles were vandalised by pickets, 25 cocktails exploded and a pickup van was set on fire in different parts of the city.
Police arrested five Shibir men from Indira Road, Green Road and Motijheel Eden Complex areas.
Police recovered a cocktail from near the US Embassy at Baridhara and another from Proshika crossing in Mirpur in abandoned condition.
The hartal supporters brought out processions in different parts of the capital.
Educational institutions remained closed, but government and non-government offices remained open, though the attendance was thin.
Rickshaws and auto-rickshaws are dominating the city streets as the presence of motorised vehicles was less. Train communications, however, remained normal.
Huge number of law enforcers was seen guarding the city streets to maintain the law and order.
The opposition alliance called the general strike after police raided the BNP central office on March 11 and arrested over 150 leaders and activists of the party, including its acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, and vice chairmen Sadeque Hossain Khoka and Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, opposition chief whip Zainul Abedin Farroque and BNP joint secretaries general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and Amanullah Aman.
The alliance had given the government an ultimatum to release the leaders and activists by Thursday (March 14).
Though three of the BNP leaders — Mirza Fakhrul, Khoka and Altaf Hossain — were released on March 12, the remaining leaders and workers were sent to jail.

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