Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hand-made bomb kills 1 in city

4 vehicles torched, cocktails explode as violence panics city dweller. 


A man was killed as a hand-made bomb went off at Motijheel while four vehicles were set afire as activists of BNP-Jamaat led four-party alliance fought pitched battles with police at different points in the capital Sunday morning. 

Several cocktails also exploded at different city parts including Naya Paltan, Shahbagh and Santinagar while one was recovered from behind the BNP’s central office. 

Panic gripped the city dwellers following the sudden violence that also disrupted traffic movement on different thoroughfares. 

Security has been beefed up across the city following the violence. 

The clashes broke out early in the morning when law enforcers obstructed opposition leaders and activists coming from different districts to join a BNP programme in the city. 

Rezaul Karim, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station, told The Daily Star that they picked up 22 people during the clashes. 

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is scheduled to hold a reception for freedom fighters at Engineers Institution, Bangladesh at 2:00pm. 

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in his instant reaction about the violence said the government is creating chaos by its people to foil the reception. 

Addressing a press conference at the National Press Club around 1:15pm, he alleged that the BNP men came under attacks when they were waiting at different city points to welcome the freedom fighters.

Witnesses said Arifuzzaman Arif, 24, was killed and Jahangir, a restaurant owner of Sayedabad area, sustained injuries in his legs after the bomb exploded with a bang on the road in front of Ghoroa Hotel around 9:30am. 

The victims were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared Arif dead. A resident of Uttar Goran, Arif was a trainee motor driver. 

Arene Sultana, younger sister of the deceased, said that Arif was not involved in any political party. 

Abul Kamal, owner of a tea stall near the scene, said he heard three big bangs just after 9:30am.

After the first bang, he thought it was a sound coming out from a tyre puncture. Later, he heard two sounds and the whole area was filled up with smoke.

The first clash ensued around 5:45am when police tried to resist the opposition activists who were vandalising a number of vehicles at Segunbagicha. 

The clash gradually spread across the city. Chases and counter-chases took place during the clashes.
Witnesses said police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the opposition activists. 

Masudur Rahman, additional deputy commoner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), told The Daily Star that a police van was torched at Santinagar around 7:30am. 

Witnesses said three more vehicles were set on fire at Farmgate, Karwanbazar and Motijheel. 

Meanwhile, Asaduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Savar Police Station, said a huge tailback has been created on the Dhaka-Aricha highway following the city violence.