The daylong countrywide hartal, called by Islami Chhatra Shibir, the associate student body of Jamaat-e-Islami, is progressing amid stray incidents of violence that left a Shibir leader dead in Khulna on Thursday.
The victim was identified as Mansoor Ali Gazi, 23, a district unit leader of Chhatra Shibir.
Witnesses said a chase and counter-chase took place between Shibir activists and police when the law enforcers tried to disperse a procession brought out by Shibir men around 9.00am at Chenchuri in Dumuria upazila of Khulna.
Shibir men threw brick chips towards the law-enforcers when police fired teargas shells and 20-30 rounds of bullet, triggering a clash that left seven people, including two policemen, injured.
Among the injured, Mansoor, who suffered bullet injuries, was take to Abhayanagar Upazila Health Complex in Jessore where doctors pronounced him dead.
In capital Dhaka, educational institutions remained closed but government and non-government offices were open though the attendance was thin.
Rickshaws and auto-rickshaws were dominating the city streets as the presence of motorised vehicles was much lesser than usual days.
No long-route bus left Mohakhali, Sayadabad and Gabtoli. Almost all ticket counters at the terminals were found closed.
Huge law enforcers are guarding 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 streets till the afternoon.
Police arrested a Shibir activist along with a bottle of petrol at Mohakhali in the city around 7.00am. Later, acting on his confession, 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 in 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.
In Feni, 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.
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 Khulna, Shibir men vandalised 8-9 vehicles and blocked the Khulna-Jessore Highway with logs at Shiromoni in Sadar upazila around 7.00am. Shibir activists also brought out a procession in support of the general strike at Fultala in Sadar upazila where two cocktails exploded around 6:30am.
In Mymensingh, pro-hartal activists torched a potato carrying truck at Digarkandar bypass intersection on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in the morning. On information, firefighters 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 Forest division in the morning.
In Comilla, Shibir workers brought out a procession from Tomchom area in the early morning and exploded four crude bombs and put barricade by burning tyres in Laksam road area.
Police detained four Shibir activists while picketing in Katherpul area of Chandina at 7 am.
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 of 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 associate body of 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 city’s Shaymoli area and then showed him arrested in two cases. Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on Wednesday extended its support to Shibir’s hartal.
United News of Bangladesh