50 injured in JCD-BCL clash as Khaleda goes to court

50 injured in JCD-BCL clash as Khaleda goes to court


A rival political worker under physical torture by Chhitra League activists on Tuesday

At least 50 political workers, most of them belonging to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and some members of police were injured when members of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, BNPs student associate, met in a clash with Bangladesh Chhatra League, ruling Awami Leagues student asociate, when BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia was appearing in a special court at Madrasah Aliah ground in Dhaka city on Wednesday morning.
Journalists covering the event said JCD members were demonstrating in the Bakshibazar area, near the Alia Madrasah ground protesting the case against their leader, when BCL members from the Engineering University and the neighbourhood chased and threw brickbats at them triggering the clash.Police said they had to resort to lathi charge, use water canons, fire teargas cannisters and also bullets to disperse the warring groups.
During the clash that spread to the nearby roads and street intersections several opposition activists were seen severely hit with sticks, bricks and iron roads by pro-government activists. One of the victims bleeding from the right side of his forehead was apparently in a comma when his opponents were still kicking at him. Another opposition activist was subjected to mass beating using sticks, iron rods and bricks.
Two motor vehicles – one of those belonging to Chhabi Biswas, AL members of Parliament fron Netrakona, when reportedly patients were being carries to the Dhaka Meedical College Hospital – were damages and set ablaze.
Witnesses said JCD and BNP activists was demonstrating on the street and set fire to tyres. Khaleda Zia had attended the court at least twice before. Last week’s change of judge of the court and the move to speed-up the disposal of the cases coinciding with the time of movement of the opposition for free, fair and inclusive elections, was earlier criticised by the BNP.
Leaders of the BNP see the Zia orphanage trust cases filed during the 2-year reign of the last military-backed caretaker government as a design to imobilise Khaleda Zia with a view to foiling their movement. Similar cases filed by the last caretaker government against leaders of the AL have been withdrawn on the plea of their being political in nature.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on more than one occasion alleged that Khaleda Zia had stolen money of the orphans that came to the Zia orphanase trust from different sources and that the alleged crime should not go unpunished.
As a large number of BNP workers and supports go to the court premises when Khaleda goes there to face cases, the seat of the special court trying the cases of alleged graft has been  taken to the Madrasah Alia ground. But BNP workers and supporters were not allowed to go anywhere near the newly setup special court.
Dhaka Medical College sources said the injured persons taken to the hospital had recieved hits on their heads or hands- Staff Reporter


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