Dhaka, Nov 14 – In a sudden development, the BNP activists on Wednesday got locked in a violent clash with police in front of party central office leaving at least 20 party activists and supporters injured and heating up the country’s political situation ahead of the next general elections. The agitated activists set fire to two police vehicles and a private car and damaged several others while police charged batons and fired rubber bullets to disperse the BNP activists from in front of the party central office at Naya Paltan.
Police sources claimed that at least 20 policemen also suffered injuries when the BNP activists hurled brick chips on them during the clash.
All on a sudden the incident started at about 12:45 pm while BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas along with several hundred party activists and supporters were proceeding towards the party office for collecting nomination form for the Dhaka-8 constituency.
The party activists were staging a big showdown there halting the traffic on the road. At one stage, police tried to remove the BNP activists from the road and got locked in an altercation with them.
Then, police went into action and started charging batons on the activists to disperse them.
A police car allegedly swooped on the gathering injuring many of them as they refused to stay away from the road and the BNP
activists and police locked in a chase and counter chase for about half an hour.
Police charged batons and fired rubber bullets while the BNP activists hurled brickbats targeting the police.
The agitated activists, many of them wearing helmets, set fire to three cars including two police cars and vandalized several others during the clash.
Of the injured, 12 persons, who received bullet injuries, were identified as Shamsul Haque and Asaduzzaman of Pirojpur, Mehedi Hasan Miraj and Orin of Mugda, Kader and Hridoy Sheikh of Paltan, Makbul Hossain of Motijheel, Monir Hossain of Sabujbagh, Mostaq of Khilgaon, Sumon of Kalabagan, Mohiuddin Ratan of airport area, Sakhawat Hossain of Madaripur. They received bullet hit at their throats, heads and backs.
Many other injured were taken to hospitals for treatment, according to eyewitnesses.
Additional deputy commissioner Shiblee Noman told reporters that at least 20 policemen also suffered injuries when the BNP activists hurled brickbats on them. They were undergoing treatment at Rajarbagh Police Lines Hospital, he said.
Earlier, hundreds of BNP leaders and activists started thronging in front of the BNP office since the morning as the party continued to sell its nomination forms for the third consecutive day yesterday.
The ruling party and the opposition BNP leaders accused each other of carrying out the attack.
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said that BNP leaders and activists were responsible for the attack on police.
“I think that BNP is trying to create anarchy, to foil the next general elections and not to take part in the elections,” he said while speaking at a press conference at the AL president’s office at
He alleged that BNP leader Mirza Abbas led the attack on police without any provocation of police.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters that the attack has been carried out to foil the forthcoming elections.
Replying to a question, he said the attack on leaders is affecting the election-time atmosphere. “We condemn this,” he added.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that the attack has been carried out at the directive of the head of the government.
Speaking at a rally in front of the party central office immediately after the incident, he advised the party leaders and activists not to fall in trap saying that the government would try to provoke them.
Rizvi said they are in favour of peace and they won’t go forward in the path of anarchy.
When contacted, DMP spokesperson Masudur Rahman told journalists that no case has been lodged in this regard till 5:00 pm.
“We are looking into the incident. Then necessary measures will be taken,” he added.
The BNP that decided to take part in the forthcoming elections slated for December 30 started selling nomination forms with the purchase of three nomination papers for its jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia.
BNP sold 277 nomination forms on the third consecutive day while 337 aspirants have submitted their nomination at the party office till 4 pm on Wednes
day. Earlier, 1,326 nomination papers on the first day while 1,896 ones on the second day. The sale of nomination papers will continue until Friday. – Staff Reporter