Shibir’s daylong hartal marked by violence; 4 dead

The daylong countrywide hartal, called by Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, ended amid violence that left four people dead on Thursday.

According to reports reaching the UNB news desk, one Shibir leader was killed in Khulna and three people died in Chittagong.

In Khulna, Mansoor Ali Gazi, 23, a district unit leader of Chhatra Shibir, was shot dead and nine people, including two cops, were injured in a clash between Jamaat-Shibir men and cops during hartal at Chenchuri in Dumuria upazila.

Rab and police arrested 15 people from different parts of the district during the hartal.

In Chittagong, three people were killed and 120 others, including 10 policemen, injured in a clash between activists of BCL-Jubo League and Hefajat-e-Islam and villagers at Kazirhat under Bhujpur in Fatikchhari upazila on Thursday.

Around 120 people, including 10 cops, were injured during the clash. The local administration imposed Section 144 in the area following the clash.

The hartal was marked by clashes between Chhatra Shibir men and law enforcers and also ruling party activists in addition to torching and vandalising of vehicles and crude bomb blasts.

In the capital city, government and semi-government offices remained open with thin attendance while most of the education institutions were closed.

Rickshaws and auto-rickshaws dominated the city streets as the presence of motorised vehicles was much lesser than usual days.

No long-route bus left Mohakhali, Sayadabad and Gabtoli bus terminals. Almost all ticket counters at the terminals were found closed. Train services were, however. Normal.

Huge law enforcers, including police, Rab and Ansers were deployed at different important points of the city streets, including BNP’s Nayapaltan office, to avoid any untoward incident.

A small number of pickets were seen picketing in support of the hartal on the city’s main streets.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police said they arrested 30 people from different areas in the city on charge of their involvement in violence. It said a total of three vehicles were set on fire by the hartal supporters.

Police arrested a Shibir activist along with a bottle of petrol at Mohakhali in the city around 7.00am. Later, acting on his confessional statement, law enforcers arrested 11 more activists of the organisation from Southpara.

Police dispersed a procession of Shibir activists in support of the hartal at E Block in Mirpur-6 under Pallabi thana at about 7.30am and arrested seven activists from the spot.

At Sutrapur, Shibir activists brought out several violent processions at about 5.30 am and locked into a clash with police in which assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Haridas and ansar member Monir were injured.

Police later dispersed the processions by firing rubber bullets and lobbing teargas canisters and arrested five pickets from the spot.

Three crude bombs were exploded and a human-hauler set ablaze by pickets during the clash.

At Jatrabari, hartal supporters brought out a procession at 6.00 am and blasted five crude bombs, creating panic among the locals. Later, they moved away when police approached.

At Shanir Akhra, police dispersed a procession of Shibir activists by charging baton and firing rubber bullets at 7.00 am. Law enforcers arrested five activists from the spot.

At Mirhajaribagh, Shibir activists locked into a fierce clash with police getting obstructed by law enforcers at 7.15 am and vandalised several vehicles there. At Bibir Bagicha, a human hauler (Leguna) was set afire at 6.30am.

At Maizpara of Mirpur, police foiled a procession of Shibir activists at 7.00am.

According to reports, 113 people were injured in clashes and 38 arrested from different districts in the country during the hartal.

In Feni, 10 people, including 5 cops, were injured in a clash between Shibir men and police at Falahia madrasha area in the town.

Shibir activists vandalised a truck and a few other vehicles and exploded at least 20 crude bombs on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway, Shaheed Shahidullah Kaiser Road, Trunk Road, at Shanti Company intersection and in Madina bus stand area of the town in the morning. Police arrested five Shibir men from Falahia madrasha.

In Natore, Shibir activists blocked Natore-Dhaka Highway by burning tyres in front of Al-Sun Hospital in the morning. They also brought out a procession at Harishpur in the town.

In Comilla, Shibir men exploded four crude bombs at Thomson Bridge in the town around 5:30am. Police arrested four people while picketing in Katherpool area of Chandina upazila in the morning.

In Mymensingh, pro-hartal activists torched a potato-carrying truck at Digarkandar bypass intersection on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in the morning. On information, fire-fighters rushed to the spot and doused the fire.

In Bogra, Shibir activists blocked Dhaka-Bogra highway at Phultola at 7 am. They also staged demonstration there by burning tyres. Two crude bombs were exploded in the town’s Yakubia School intersection at 10 am.

In Sylhet, Shibir men blocked roads in the city by burning tyres and logs at about 7 am and set off some cocktails.

In Laxmipur, pro-hartal activists blocked Dalalbazar road on Laxmipur-Dhaka highway by felling trees of the Forest division in the morning. Police also detained two people as they tried to vandalise two covered vans at Chandina on Dhaka- Chittagong highway.

In Sathkhira, two people were injured in an attack by Jamaat-e-Islami men at Agardari union of the district.

The injured are Union Awami League president Habibar Rahman and local AL activist Abdul Karim Sardar.

Shibir, the student wing Jamaat-e-Islami, called the shutdown on Wednesday in protest against what it said torturing its central president on police remand and demanding his immediate release.

On March 31, plainclothes police arrested Shibir chief Delwar Hossain from the capital’s Shaymoli area and then showed him arrested in two cases. Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on Wednesday extended its support to Shibir’s hartal.

With today’s hartal, this week saw four days of hartal. The first day of hartal was called by Hafajat-e-Islam on Monday. It was followed by a 36-hour hartal (Tuesday and Wednesday) enforced by the BNP-led 18-party alliance.

United News of Bangladesh