A Jubo Dal activist and two rickshawpullers were killed in Laxmipur and Chandpur towns Sunday as police opened fire to disperse activists of BNP and its front organisations while they attempted to bring out previously-scheduled processions.
The angry activists of Chandpur kept the law enforcers confined for two hours as the violence ended at 1:00pm, leaving over 100 injured.
Over 250 people including 80 policemen were injured when the law enforcers attempted to foil processions of opposition activists in Dinajpur, Kurigram, Rangamati, Bandarban and Bagerhat. Police picked up a number of opposition activists from different districts during the clashes.
Local administration imposed ban on all kinds of rallies and processions in Bogra and Sirajganj town for Sunday amid fears of a deterioration in law and order.
Violence in Chandpur ensued at 11:00am when police asked the opposition activists, who were gathering at Hasan Ali Govt High School ground to bring out a protest procession, to leave the place.
“Without listening to us, they (opposition activists) started hurling brickbats,” Alamgir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Chandpur Model Police Station, told The Daily Star, estimating that there were at least 1,000 people.
Cordoning off the law enforcers, the angry activists, later vandalised a policevan.
As the angry opposition activists kept on throwing brickbats, “the magistrate ordered us to open fire to bring the situation under control”, the OC said.
Our correspondent, who also remaining stranded inside the cordon, reported that the opposition activists continued their attacks on the police though the latter stopped firing in the noon.
Around 12:45pm, workers of Bangladesh Chhatra League, ruling Awami League’s student wing, joined the police to raise attack on the opposition activists. Fifteen minutes later, the opposition men started leaving the area.
Bullet-hit, Abul Mreedha, a rickshawpuller aged about 50 years, died on the spot. Limon Soiyal, another rickshawpuller aged about 25, and Mahfuzur Rahman, a 22-year-old activist of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, received bullet injuries.
Rushed to Chandpur Sadar Hospital, Soiyal died later at 12:15pm, hospital medical sources said.
Mreedha used to live in Baburhat while Soiyal in Goakhola areas in Chandpur town.
Talking to The Daily Star, Amir Zafar, Chandpur assistant superintendent of police (ASP), said over 100 people, including 30 policemen, were injured during the clash.
Police said they opened fire at the order of Magistrate Shamimul Haq Pavel in self defence.
The clash spread to some other parts of Chandpur town. The opposition activists vandalised 15-20 vehicles, our correspondent reported.
Meantime, BCL activists later vandalised BNP office and the house of BNP district unit general secretary Farid Ali in the town.
As workers of BNP and its front organisations were preparing to bring out a procession from Trimohoni area around 11:00am, police rushed there and tried to stop them.
Angered at this, the opposition activists threw brick chips on the law enforcers. A chase and counter-chase took place for some time before the situation turned more violent.
Sensing danger, the law enforcers opened fire on the angry activists, leaving a Jubo Dal activist dead on the spot and four others injured.
Over 50, including 30 police, were injured during the clash.
The other bullet-hit persons – Abul Kashem, 50, Rabiul Hassan, 25, Javed, 18, and Nahid, 20, – and injured police sub-inspector Abul Bashar of Laxmipur Sadar Police Station, were rushed to Noakhali General Hospital.
Activists of the BNP, its front organisations and Jamaat-e-Islami held a rally at district BNP office near Jail intersection before they attempted to bring out a procession around 12:15pm
As police intercepted them when they tried to bring out a procession, the opposition activists pelted brickbats on the police.
Police charged batons to disperse them. Chase and counter-chase continued for a while before police fired at least 10 tear gas canisters and eight rubber bullets on the angry activists.
Police picked up at least five persons during the clash which left 25 injured, said Hasan Shamim Iqbal, OC of Dinajpur Kotwali Police Station.
Moinul Islam, Dinajpur superintendent of police, said police brought the situation under control around 1:15pm.
At least 20 people including the OC of Kurigram Sadar Police Station were injured and a police vehicle was damaged during clashes between law enforcers and BNP-Jamaat activists Sunday.
Immediately after BNP and Jamaat activists brought out a procession around the noon from Old Post Office area in Kurigram, police tried to stop it from marching to the town streets.
The processionists started pelting brick chips on the law enforcers and tried to put a police vehicle on fire.
But police reinforcement rushed to the scene and charged batons on the opposition activists, leaving some 20 people including five policemen hurt.
With injuries in their heads, OC Moinul Islam and driver of a police pick-up van constable Anjarul Islam were rushed to Kurigram Sadar Hospital. Anjarul was later referred to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
Police charged batons on BNP activists when they brought out a procession in front of Rangamati municipality office at 11:00am.
Talking to The Daily Star, Rinku Chakma, secretary of indigenous affairs of Jubo Dal central committee, said three activists of Jatiyatabadi Sromik Dal were injured.
In the context of the authorities’ imposing ban on procession and rallies in five metropolitan cities including the capital amid fears of deterioration in law and order, the BNP decided Saturday night to go ahead with their mass procession in other districts on Sunday.
Police and BNP activists locked into an altercation as police obstructed the BNP men while they tried to bring out a procession from in front of their office in Bandarban town around 11:00am, UNB adds.
At one stage, the BNP activists pelted stones at police, triggering a violent clash between the two sides, leaving 20 BNP men and 10 police personnel injured.
Police later charged batons and fired teargas shells to successfully disperse the angry BNP activists.
Police arrested at least 30 BNP activists after the incident.