About 50 persons were injured as two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League clashed in Charghat upazila of Rajshahi over a trivial issue foiling an ongoing anniversary programme on Wednesday.
The clashing groups barricaded the Rajshahi-Charghat road setting fire on tyres in front of Sardaha Degree College snapping road communication for three hours until 3:00pm, reports our Rajshahi correspondent.
The clashes ensued around the noon when a BCL activist blamed another BCL man from rival faction for stealing his mobile phone during a procession brought out on the occasion of BCL anniversary, police and witnesses said.
Divided into two groups over the issue, the BCL men started beating each other with rods and sticks. They chased and counter-chased each other for one and a half hours sparking off panic.
The groups damaged several shops and damaged a passenger bus leaving almost all the passengers injured with pieces of broken glass.
Nayab Ali, a tea-stall owner said his shop was damaged moments after a panic-gripped young boy chased by opponents hid at his shop.
Golam Kibria, organising secretary of the district unit BCL, said Mohammad Sony, a BCL worker identified an unknown BCL worker for stealing his mobile.
A large group of BCL men swooped on Sony in support of the alleged “thief” thus triggering the clashes at the upazila Shaheed Minar area despite repeated calls through loudspeakers for remaining calm, he said.
The bus driver Mohammad Shahin was admitted to Charghat Health Complex where some 25 people took first aid, said hospital sources.
Hasanuzzaman, a passenger of the damaged bus, said he saw many of bus passengers including female and children running away for safe shelter despite injuries inflicted by broken glasses.
Upazila BCL president Ekramul Haque said the incident occurred due to “a misunderstanding” and senior party leaders were trying to solve the matter.
He said the incident occurred during a rally of some seven and eight thousand people, and, so, the clash could not be avoided.
Abdur Razzak, OC of Charghat Police Station said police took the situation under control and none lodged any complaint till Wednesday afternoon.