Sunday, December 18, 2011

SQ Chy's petitions rejected

International Crimes Tribunal on Monday rejected six petitions of BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, who is facing charges of crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971. 

The three-member tribunal headed by its Chairman Justice Nizamul Huq rejected his first petition for continuing the trial proceedings against him under the Evidence Act, 1972 and CrPC Act, 1898. 

The court said the tribunal has been formed under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 and the trial proceedings will be continued under it.

It also rejected his another petition seeking tribunal’s permission for engaging foreign lawyers as consultants to defend him saying that Bangladesh Bar Council does not allow it.

But the court will consider it if the bar council gives permission in this regard, it said. 

“Defence and prosecution can seek advice from foreign lawyers outside the tribunal, if they want,” the tribunal added.

About Salauddin’s petition for live broadcasting the trial against him on electronic media, the tribunal said there is no such example in the world’s history.

The tribunal also rejected his another petitions seeking 11 months time for taking preparation for the case and for a clear definition of 'crimes against humanity' in the rules of procedure.

Rejecting Salauddin’s petition for following the international covenant, the tribunal said it will only follow the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act.

After the court started around 10:40am, Mohammad Badiuzzaman, a Supreme Court lawyer who has been appoint by the ICT to represent Salauddin, submit a petition before the tribunal for meeting with his client.
The tribunal accepted his petition and asked him fixed a convenient time and informed. The tribunal will consider it, the court said.

Prosecutors on November 15 submitted formal charges against detained Salauddin to the tribunal, citing his involvement in 24 incidents of crime against humanity.

Killings on Border : Dhaka lodges protests, BSF regrets

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday regretted the deaths of four Bangladeshi nationals along the borders on Friday and Saturday. 
 Meanwhile, Bangladesh lodged a strong protest with the Indian authorities condemning the killings and called for an inquiry.

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Director General Maj Gen Anwar Hossain yesterday told The Daily Star: “In the morning (yesterday), when I contacted the BSF chief over the phone he expressed his sorrow and said it is unexpected.”

He added that the BSF chief had also sent a high profile team to the spots in Indian territory to investigate the incidents.

The killings took place in the border areas of Dinajpur, Kurigram and Meherpur districts -- three of them were killed in Indian territory and another in Bangladesh.

The bodies were handed over to the BGB yesterday and Saturday.

A foreign ministry official yesterday said the government in a letter expressed its disappointment that the incidents took place despite firm assurances from the highest level of the Indian government against recurrence of border killings.

It also urged India to take necessary steps to stop recurrence of such incidents.

Contacted, a competent official at the Indian High Commission in Dhaka last night told The Daily Star that no official statement was received by then from the Indian government in this regard.

Elizabeth Taylor Christie's auction fetches $150m

A four-day New York auction of the belongings of Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor has fetched more than $150m, with one leather-bound film script selling for 50 times its estimate.

The late actor's script of The National Velvet, her first big film, sold for $170,000 at the Christie's auction.
Earlier in the week, one of her necklaces featuring a 16th Century pearl sold for a record $11.8m (£7.6m).

The star of Cleopatra died in Los Angeles in March at the age of 79. 

Christie's chairman Marc Porter described the response to the sale as "nothing short of overwhelming with multiple bidders competing for every lot".

Part of the proceeds will go to The Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, which she established in 1991.

The "Collection of Elizabeth Taylor" auction concluded on Friday night after four days of sales of jewellery, haute couture, furniture and memorabilia. 

An online-only auction of some 1,000 items from the actress's estate finishes later on Saturday.
The Hollywood legend was renowned for her love of diamonds and emeralds - and received many as gifts from her twice husband Richard Burton.

Dell to invest for long term

“Dell believes that Bangladesh is one of the key emerging economies in Asia, and we intend to invest here for the long term”, said Harjeet Rekhi, Dell's general manager for the Developing Markets Group in South Asia.

Rekhi said this during a press meet to share Dell's strategy to deliver solutions that help customers navigate the ever-changing IT environment and make the most out of their IT investments in the virtual era. 

He also highlighted Dell's commitment to strengthen its channel partner network in Bangladesh and grow the company's presence in the enterprise, consumer and public sector segments.

“As an end-to-end IT solutions provider, Dell is uniquely positioned to provide customers with full-suite solutions to help them manage their IT infrastructure from end user device to the data-centre to the cloud. Dell is committed to bringing our comprehensive offerings to customers in Bangladesh and working hard to be their trusted IT advisor,” said Rekhi.

He further said the company is strategically working with its channel partners, who play a significant role in Dell's effort to deliver technology and ensure that their customers are well-ahead of the game instead of simply `keeping up'. 

This includes providing them with advice on designing, implementing, testing and running IT infrastructures that are dramatically more cost effective, energy efficient and scalable. 

The consumer segment is also a key to the company's growth plans in Bangladesh. Rekhi said Dell aims to deliver great computing experience to customers with its wide range of products and solutions designed for the user segment such as Gen-Y and students, families with kids, and mobile professionals.

At the meet, Rekhi informed that Dell now has the strongest portfolio of IT solutions in the company's history.
He said the company sees value in driving the business around solutions and services -- that support its broader strategy to penetrate the mid to large enterprise segment -- with a much higher ingredient of intellectual property.

Russia oil rig capsizes off Sakhalin, dozens missing

At least two people have died and more than 50 are missing after an oil drilling rig sank in freezing seas in the Russian far east.

The Kolskaya rig was being towed some 200km (125 miles) off Sakhalin island when it capsized in a fierce storm.

Fourteen people have been rescued but it is feared the rig overturned before the rest of the 67 people on board could escape on to life rafts.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by poor weather conditions.

Helicopters and a plane helped scour the area amid high winds and waves of up to 12ft (4m) but the search was halted as night fell.

Empty life rafts
"According to reports from the scene of the rescue operation, the Kolskaya platform has sunk completely," the regional head of the emergencies ministry, Taimuraz Kasayev, told a news briefing.

The accident in temperatures of -17C at around 14:00 local time (0200 GMT) in the Sea of Okhotsk happened as the rig was being towed from the eastern peninsula of Kamchatka to Sakhalin.

An unnamed regional emergencies ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency that the portholes of the rig had been "damaged by ice and waves, and water began going into the vessel".

He said the crew had been waiting to be evacuated by helicopter but the platform capsized and sank before they could get to their rescue rafts.

Two out of the four life rafts were reportedly found with nobody on board.

The spokesman confirmed to AFP that 14 people had been rescued but were in a serious condition, and two bodies "without signs of life" had been spotted by rescue workers who are "trying to pull them out".

An investigation has been launched to decide whether any safety regulations were violated transporting the Kolskaya in bad weather. 

The rig, operated by Russian exploration firm Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka, was not involved in any drilling work at the time, and there is no danger of any oil spill, Russian officials said.

Egypt troops, protesters clash again, widening rifts

Protesters and troops fought in Cairo on Sunday, the third day of clashes that have killed 10 people and exposed rifts over the army's role as it manages Egypt's promised transition from military to civilian rule.

Troops have set up barriers on streets around Tahrir Square, the hub of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak and now again convulsed by violence as protesters demand that the generals who took charge in February quit power.

Soldiers in riot gear were filmed on Saturday beating protesters with long sticks even after they had fallen to the ground. A Reuters picture showed two soldiers dragging a woman lying on the ground by her shirt, exposing her underwear.

The violence has overshadowed a staggered parliamentary election, the first free vote most Egyptians can remember, that is set to give Islamists the biggest bloc.

Some Egyptians are enraged by the army's behavior. Others want to focus on voting, not street protests.
The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will retain power even after the lower house vote is completed in January, but has pledged to hand over to an elected president by July.

"The army council must go," said a protester with a bandaged head, who gave his name as Mohamed, after another night of clashes between soldiers and activists who had stayed in Tahrir.

Nearby dozens of youths hurled rocks at troops behind a barrier of barbed wire and metal sheets.
"It's cat-and-mouse. The army raid and retreat," protester Mostafa Fahmy said by telephone, shortly before dawn.

A hardcore of activists have camped in Tahrir since a protest against army rule on November 18 that was sparked by the army-backed cabinet's proposals to permanently shield the military from civilian oversight in the new constitution.

Bouts of violence since then, including a flare-up last month that killed 42, have deepened frustrations of many other Egyptians, who want an end to protests. They see the military as the only force capable of restoring stability.

Hundreds of protesters were in Tahrir in the early morning, some huddled round fires to keep warm in the chill air after troops had burned down their tents the day before.

Reuters television footage showed one soldier in a line of charging troops firing a shot at fleeing protesters on Saturday, though it was not clear whether he was using live rounds.
The army said it does not use live ammunition. It has also said troops had tackled only "thugs," not protesters.


Protesters and soldiers have hurled rocks at each other. Some demonstrators have also lobbed petrol bombs at army lines. A building with historic archives was gutted by a fire.

Health Minister Fouad el-Nawawy told local television 10 people had been killed, most of them on Friday or early on Saturday, and 441 wounded. State media said at least 200 people had been taken to hospital.
Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, 78, said 30 security guards outside parliament had been hurt and 18 people wounded by gunshots. He blamed violence on youths among the protesters.

"What is happening in the streets today is not a revolution, rather it is an attack on the revolution," the army-appointed premier said.

The army says it has sought to separate protesters and troops to quell the violence. On one of the main streets leading from Tahrir to the cabinet and parliament, where violence has been fiercest, the army has erected a wall of concrete blocks.

State media have gave conflicting accounts of what sparked the violence. They quoted some people saying a man went into the parliament compound to retrieve a mis-kicked football, but was harassed and beaten by police and guards. Others said the man had prompted scuffles by trying to set up camp in the compound.
The latest bloodshed began after the second round of voting last week for parliament's lower house. The staggered election began on November 28 and will end with a run-off vote on January 11.

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties repressed in the 30-year Mubarak era have emerged as strong front-runners.

Referring to the Cairo clashes, the Brotherhood said the military must apologize for the "crime that has been committed"

In a statement, the army council "expressed its regret about events" on Friday, but stopped short of an apology.

More than 50 "Occupy" protesters arrested in New York

More than 50 anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested on Saturday after they tried to climb over a chain-link fence around a church parking lot in a bid to establish a new encampment.

The demonstrators had used a wooden ladder to scale a chain-link fence into the lot owned by Trinity Church, an Occupy Wall Street spokesman said.

Police had no immediate figure on how many people were taken into custody, but Gideon Oliver, president of the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, put the number at about 55, including between five and 10 members of the clergy.

The remaining demonstrators marched through Manhattan's streets toward the house of the Trinity Church rector, but were turned away by police.

Later, as they started to move toward Midtown, some of the demonstrators were hemmed in by lines of police, and police on motorcycles tried to disperse protesters who were in the middle of streets.
"We are unstoppable. Another world is possible," and "Whose street? Our street," were among the chants from the protesters, who blocked some streets as they marched.

The remainder of the group, several dozen protesters, held signs in Times Square into the evening.
Trinity Church's rector, James H. Cooper, issued a statement on the church's website saying: "We are saddened that OWS protesters chose to ignore yesterday's messages" from several Episcopal and Anglican church leaders, including South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu.

The messages discouraged trespassing on Trinity Church property and called attention to several ways in which the church was providing support to Occupy Wall Street and working for economic change.
Cooper said the vacant church lot the OWS wanted to move into "has no facilities to sustain a winter encampment. In good conscience and faith, we strongly believe" erecting a camp there "would be wrong, unsafe, unhealthy, and potentially injurious."

The Occupy movement began with protesters taking over a park in New York in September to draw attention to economic inequality and a financial system they say is unfairly skewed toward the wealthy.
In ensuing months the protests and encampments spread to cities throughout the United States as well as to some in other countries.

But Occupy camps in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and a number of other major cities were shut down in recent weeks in operations that resulted in hundreds of arrests and have raised questions about the movement's future.

Authorities have justified their moves against the camps on a variety of grounds, including that the camps were causing sanitation problems and were dangerous to public safety.

Last U.S. troops leave Iraq, ending war

The last convoy of U.S. soldiers pulled out of Iraq on Sunday, ending nearly nine years of war that cost almost 4,500 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and left a country grappling with political uncertainty.

The war launched in March 2003 with missiles striking Baghdad to oust President Saddam Hussein closes with a fragile democracy still facing insurgents, sectarian tensions and the challenge of defining its place in an Arab region in turmoil.

The final column of around 100 mostly U.S. military MRAP armored vehicles carrying 500 U.S. troops trundled across the southern Iraq desert from their last base through the night and daybreak along an empty highway to the Kuwaiti border.

Honking their horns, the last batch of around 25 American military trucks and tractor trailers carrying Bradley fighting vehicles crossed the border early Sunday morning, their crews waving at fellow troops along the route.

"I just can't wait to call my wife and kids and let them know I am safe," Sgt. First Class Rodolfo Ruiz said as the border came into sight. Soon afterwards, he told his men the mission was over, "Hey guys, you made it."
For U.S. President Barack Obama, the military pullout is the fulfillment of an election promise to bring troops home from a conflict inherited from his predecessor, the most unpopular war since Vietnam and one that tainted America's standing worldwide.

For Iraqis, though, the U.S. departure brings a sense of sovereignty tempered by nagging fears their country may slide once again into the kind of sectarian violence that killed many thousands of people at its peak in 2006-2007.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government still struggles with a delicate power-sharing arrangement between Shi'ite, Kurdish and Sunni parties, leaving Iraq vulnerable to meddling by Sunni Arab nations and Shi'ite Iran.

The intensity of violence and suicide bombings has subsided. But a stubborn Sunni Islamist insurgency and rival Shi'ite militias remain a threat, carrying out almost daily attacks, often on Iraqi government and security officials.
Iraq says its forces can contain the violence but they lack capabilities in areas such as air defense and intelligence gathering. A deal for several thousand U.S. troops to stay on as trainers fell apart over the sensitive issue of legal immunity.

For many Iraqis, security remains a worry - but no more than jobs and getting access to power in a country whose national grid provides only a few hours of electricity a day despite the OPEC country's vast oil potential.

U.S. and foreign companies are already helping Iraq develop the world's fourth-largest oil reserves, but its economy needs investment in all sectors, from hospitals to infrastructure.

"We don't think about America... We think about electricity, jobs, our oil, our daily problems," said Abbas Jaber, a government employee in Baghdad. "They (Americans) left chaos."


After Obama announced in October that troops would come home by the end of the year as scheduled, the number of U.S. military bases was whittled down quickly as hundreds of troops and trucks carrying equipment headed south to Kuwait.

U.S. forces, which had ended combat missions in 2010, paid $100,000 a month to tribal sheikhs to secure stretches of the highways leading south to reduce the risk of roadside bombings and attacks on the last convoys.

Only around 150 U.S. troops will remain in the country attached to a training and cooperation mission at the huge U.S. embassy on the banks of the Tigris river.

At the height of the war, more than 170,000 U.S. troops were in Iraq at more than 500 bases. By Saturday, there were fewer than 3,000 troops, and one base - Contingency Operating Base Adder, 300 km (185 miles) south of Baghdad.

At COB Adder, as dusk fell before the departure of the last convoy, soldiers slapped barbecue sauce on slabs of ribs brought from Kuwait and laid them on grills beside hotdogs and sausages.

Earlier, 25 soldiers sat on folding chairs in front of two armored vehicles watching a five-minute ceremony as their brigade's flags were packed up for the last time before loading up their possessions and lining up their trucks.

The last troops flicked on the lights studding their MRAP vehicles and stacked flak jackets and helmets in neat piles, ready for the final departure for Kuwait and then home.

"A good chunk of me is happy to leave. I spent 31 months in this country," said Sgt. Steven Schirmer, 25, after three tours of Iraq since 2007. "It almost seems I can have a life now, though I know I am probably going to Afghanistan in 2013. Once these wars end I wonder what I will end up doing."


Iran and Turkey, major investors in Iraq, will be watching with Gulf nations to see how their neighbor handles its sectarian and ethnic tensions, as the crisis in Syria threatens to spill over its borders.

The fall of Saddam allowed the long-suppressed Shi'ite majority to rise to power. The Shi'ite-led government has drawn the country closer to Iran and Syria's Bashar al-Assad, who is struggling to put down a nine-month-old uprising.

Iraq's Sunni minority is chafing under what it sees as the increasingly authoritarian control of Maliki's Shi'ite coalition. Some local leaders are already pushing mainly Sunni provinces to demand more autonomy from Baghdad.

The main Sunni political bloc Iraqiya said on Saturday that it was temporarily suspending its participation in the parliament to protest against what it said was Maliki's unwillingness to deliver on power-sharing.

A dispute between the semi-autonomous Kurdish region and Maliki's central government over oil and territory is also brewing, and is a potential flashpoint after the buffer of the American military presence is gone.
"There is little to suggest that Iraq's government will manage, or be willing, to get itself out of the current stalemate," said Gala Riani, an analyst at IHS Global Insight.

"The perennial divisive issues that have become part of the fabric of Iraqi politics, such as divisions with Kurdistan and Sunni suspicions of the government, are also likely to persist."

BNP hand in 'mystery killings': Hasina

Launching a counter-attack on the main opposition, the prime minister has blamed the alliance of main opposition BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami for all the 'mystery killings' and other disruptive activities across the country.

"Not only to protect the war criminals, the BNP-Jamaat alliance is also carrying out these mystery killings, murders and other criminal activities to destabilise the country," Sheikh Hasina said criticising the opposition.

"They will first kill and start crying — this is their characteristic."

Her remarks came on Saturday at a discussion in the city's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, following concerns expressed by various rights organisations, including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), over the recent incidents of alleged abduction and what the opposition party calls 'extrajudicial killings'.

The prime minister also warned those who want to protect the war criminals by saying that they would also be tried.

She urged everyone in favour of the trials to raise awareness on the matter.

"Everyone needs to be united, so that no Razakar or Al-Badr comes to power again and plays with the people's fate," she told the discussion.

Ruling party presidium member and parliament deputy leader Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury presided over the programme organised by Awami League as part of the 40th Victory Day celebrations.

Hasina said, "We have executed the trial and the verdict in the Bangabandhu assassination case. The trial of the war criminals will also be held in the same fashion."

Referring to opposition leader Khaleda Zia, she said, "The one carrying out movements, strikes, long marches to protect the war criminals even gave Bangladesh's flag in their hands … what more can be expected of such a person?"

BNP chief Khaleda has long been demanding the release of the seven BNP-Jamaat leaders, who were arrested on charges of committing war crimes. She has also written to the UN secretary-general about her reservations on the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) trying the war crimes.

Top five Jamaat leaders — party chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mojaheed, executive council leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee, assistant secretaries general Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla — who are charged with war crimes have been arrested and their trial is underway.

Senior BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury was also arrested on similar charges, while another charged with war crimes Abdul Alim, a former minister in late president Ziaur Rahman's cabinet, is on conditional bail.

Saying Bangladesh is yet to reach the desired destination even after 40 years of independence, Hasina said, "The query 'why it did not happen?' must be answered by those — Zia (Ziaur Rahman), Ershad (A H M Ershad) and Khaleda Zia — who were in power for 28 years after the independence."

"The people want to know how they became rich overnight and what people got in those 28 years."

Talking about the killing of Jessore BNP leader Nazmul Islam, she said that BNP is behind the mystery killings, murders and conspiracies.

The latest victim of "mystery killings" is Jessore BNP leader Nazmul Islam, whose body was found in Gazipur on Dec 15 – a day after he was abducted from the capital's Mohammadpur area while returning home from a wedding.

In some recent cases, the victims were picked up by people in the guise of law enforcers, especially acting as Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel, and later their bodies were recovered from various areas.

Amid protests and criticisms, the law enforcement agencies have been denying the allegations.

According to NHRC, at least 27 people have gone missing during the recent part. Bodies of several victims were found later.

The uncanny part, says the opposition party, is that many victims were BNP local-level leaders or activists. Among them was Ismail Hossain, a leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the pro-BNP student body.

A former president of Chhatra Dal's ward-50 unit in Dhaka, Ismail went "missing" on Nov 28. His body was recovered, along with two others, from Dhalehswari river near Munshiganj on Dec 8.

Chhatra Dal members alleged that law enforcers had picked up the organisation's three leaders, including Ismail, from the capital's Hatirpul area. While Islamil's body surfaced 10 days later, the other two are still missing, the organisation claims.

At least seven bodies were recovered from Munshiganj's Dhalehswari river in as many days. 

Source : 

War crimes charges pressed against Quader Molla

The prosecution on Sunday submitted formal war crimes charges against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla to the International Crimes Tribunal.

Seven specific charges have been brought against Quader Molla which includes killings, arsons and loots in Mohammadpur, Mirpur and Keraniganj areas in the capital, prosecutor Mohammad Ali said while addressing a press briefing at the tribunal.

Quader Molla was directly involved with the crimes committed in Mirpur and Mohammadpur areas, the prosecutor said.

He said the prosecution has “enough evidence” to prove the Jamaat leader's involvement in the crimes committed in 1971.

The three-member tribunal fixed December 28 for taking the charges into cognisance against Jamaat leaders Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Quader Molla. 

Earlier, the tribunal fixed Sunday (December 18) for taking the charges into cognisance against Nizami, Mojaheed and Kamaruzzaman after formal charges were placed against them.

But the court today said it re-fixed the date as the tribunal could not take preparation for accepting the formal charges against the three Jamaat leaders.

The tribunal started its day’s proceedings around 11:20am in presence of Nizami, Mojaheed, Kamaruzzaman and Quader Molla. 

Later, the counsel for Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee, another accused of crimes against humanity committed in 1971 Liberation War, started cross examination of second prosecution witness Ruhul Amin Nabin.

The cross-examination was continuing till 1:45pm when the report was filed.

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.