Sporadic violence marks BNP, allies' hartal: 1 killed, 110 injured

Sporadic violence marks BNP, allies’ hartal: 1 killed, 110 injured

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A woman school teacher was killed in Noakhali and many people were injured in the city and elsewhere in the country during the countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance yesterday.
The female school teacher, Shamsunnaghar Jarna (35) was killed after being hit in her head by a brick chip hurled by picketers at Maijdee municipality area in Noakhali when she was going to her home at Ramgati, according to reports reaching Dhaka.According to witness and her husband Shajahan, Shamsur Nagher along with her husband and son was going to Ramgati in a covered van. When they reached near Maijdee Pro Kalayan High School area on Dhaka –Noakhali highway some hartal supporters suddenly hurled brick chip on their van coming from Dhaka. The brick chip broke the glass and hit her head causing bleeding.
With assistance from local people Shajahan rushed her to Noakhali General Hospital and admitted her where duty doctor declared her dead.
The deceased hailed from Char Poragacha village under Ramgati upazila in Laximpur district. She was an assistant teacher of Tawhid Laboratory School in Dhaka.
When contacted the Superintend of Police of Noakhali Elias Sharif said that police arrested two persons in this connection and they are continuing drive to arrest those involved in the incident.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir accused the government agents of killing the school teacher and demanded the punishment of the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, Minister for Education Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday told reporters that the government would take action against the perpetrators responsible for the killing of the school teacher.
The hartal, second enforced by the BNP-Jamaat alliance protesting the ‘foiling’ of its Gazipur rally and demanding the release of its arrested senior leaders, was also marked by stray incidents of chase and counter chase between the pickets and law enforcers, setting fire to vehicles and vandalising cars.
Police charged batons on the pickets when they tried to bring out processions in different places in the city and elsewhere in the country. The picketers replied to the law enforcers by hurling brick chips and hand made crude bombs.
BNP leaders and activists brought out processions from different places in the city including Tejgaon, Pallabi, Mirpur, Rampura, Mugda, Lalbagh, Dakhhin Khan, Sabujbagh and Khilgaon areas. In Pallabi area of Dhaka city police fired rubber bullets on a BNP procession injuring one activist seriously. The condition of the injured persons is stated to be critical at the hospital.
Police attacked on the pickets in different places and arrested many activists.
BNP claimed that mobile court has sentenced three of their activists and police arrested 342 leaders and activists from across the country. Besides, at least 110 leaders and activists of the alliance were injured during the hartal that ended at 6:00pm.
Movement of public transports were limited on the city streets during the hartal some shops were open in different areas including Elephant Road and Mirpur.
However, the movement of long-distance buses and heavy vehicles from districts remained stopped. Supply of goods especially vegetables to the capital was hampered due to hartals.
Briefing reporters at party headquarters, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that the ruling Awami League is resorting to repression on opposition leaders and activists as the party remains under pressure.
He alleged that the government is using law enforcers to carry out repression on opposition leaders and activists and raiding their homes after seeing the massive support to the hartal.
The BNP leader accused police of opening fire and lobbing teargas shells and making arreat of opposition leaders and activists during the hartal.
He alleged that the government has been carrying out arson attacks on different vehicles by their agents to turn the peaceful movement to violent.
Earlier, BNP joint secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed said that police opened fire on a procession of their party’s voluntary unit Swechchasebak Dal in the city’s Pallabi area, leaving their activist Swapan wounded with rubber bullets.
Talking to reporters he said that the people are spontaneously observing their hartal and alleged that the government agents are torching vehicles and carrying out various subversive activities during their daylong shutdown programme.
“The government has once again indulged in its old dirty game as it did before the January-5 voterless elections. The government with its agents are torching public vehicles to shift the blame onto the opposition,” he said.
He alleged that the government is obstructing their peaceful programme and arresting their leaders and activists.
Police kept the BNP central office cordoned since morning and arrested two activists from the main gate as they tried to enter it.
Meanwhile, the ruling Awami League and its front organisaitions yesterday brought out anti-hartal procession in different places in the city.
Bangladesh Chhatra League brought out an anti-hartal procession and paraded the Nayapaltan area in the morning.
Our correspondents report that except some stray incidents, the daylong hartal was observed in different districts almost peacefully.
Picketers vandalised few CNG run auto-rickshaws at the Fire Service crossing in Rajshahi. Police detained 36 activists in connection with picketing.
The picketers exploded some hand made bombs during the picketing and vandalised vehicles at the railgate, Darirkhorbana and Hossainiganj area.
Police detained more than 50 Jamaat-Shibir and BNP activists from Cox’s Bazar, Comilla, Chuyadanga, Chittagang, Chandpur, Sirajganj, Chowgacha and Munshiganj.
In Sylhet, police arrested several leaders including city BNP convenor Dr Shahriar Hossain when they were in a procession. – Staff Reporter

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