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Killings, violence mark protests in Bangladesh
Publication Date : 01-02-2013
At least three people in Bogra (northern Bangladesh) were killed in clashes during yesterday's protests enforced by Jamaat-e-Islami demanding the scrapping of the international crimes tribunals and release of its top leaders being tried for war crimes.
Jamaat claimed the victims, Abu Ruhani, 22, Mizanur Rahman, 30, and Abdullah, 21, were its activists.
The party and its student body Islami Chhatra Shibir called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the district tomorrow protesting the killings.
At least a hundred people, including 10 policemen, were injured in Bogra yesterday when the pickets and law enforcers clashed. Pickets even snatched a rifle from a policeman.
At least 35 people were arrested in connection with the violence.
Meanwhile, an auto-rickshaw driver in Feni crashed his vehicle into a tree while trying to outrun the pickets chasing him. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
A policeman in Jessore suffered minor injuries when pickets attacked him in Monirampur but he later died of a heart attack at a hospital.
Law enforcers picked four persons in connection with the attack.
Yesterday, Jamaat and pro-Jamaat student body Islami Chhatra Shibir men went on the rampage across the country and vandalised more than 60 vehicles, mostly buses and trucks, and torched over 25 vehicles including four police vans.
The half-day hartal in Dhaka and Chittagong, dawn-to-dusk elsewhere, was also marked by explosions of homemade bombs, violence and detention.
The rampage comes a day after Jamaat-Shibir men vandalised and torched vehicles in the capital supporting the hartal. Yesterday, the violence was scattered across the country.
In Bogra, some unidentified people launched an attack on a group of pickets, including Abu Ruhani, in front of Govt Mojibur Rahman College in the town around 12:30pm, witnesses said.
Ruhani along with other injured were rushed to a local hospital where doctors declared Ruhani dead.
He is the president of Shibir unit of Azizul Haque College (old building) and a third-year student of the sociology department.
Witnesses said unidentified people dragged Mizanur, owner of Bhai-Bon Hatchery (fish fry farm) at Subgram, out of his establishment and hacked him with sharp weapons around 12:45pm.
Seriously injured, he was rushed to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:15pm.
Jamaat-Shibir men armed with lethal weapons brought out a procession in the town carrying the two dead around 4:30pm but police obstructed them.
Around 5:30pm, the pickets set fire to a students' dorm at Jamil Nagar area of the town. Pro-ruling party activists allegedly dominate the dorm.
Police and Rab personnel came to disperse the protesters, triggering a 40-minute clash that left Abdullah, 21, a Shibir activist of Bogra Shaheed Chandu Stadium Unit, killed.
Presidents of Bogra District Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jubo League Mashrafi Hero and Manzurul Alam have claimed that they were not responsible for the deaths.
"None of our activists staged any demonstrations yesterday," said Mashrafi of the pro-ruling party student body.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (A-Circle) Maqbul Hossain and Officer-in-Charge Syed Shahid Alam of Bogra Police Station told The Daily Star that all the three dead in Bogra belonged to Jamaat-Shibir.
Meanwhile, Zahirul Haque, 50, constable of Monirampur Police Station in Jessore died of cardiac arrest just after a clash between police and Jamaat-Shibir men early yesterday. He had sustained injuries during the clash.
In Feni, driver of a CNG-run auto-rickshaw Mohammad Emon, 25, succumbed to his injuries at Feni Sadar Hospital after he suffered serious injuries when his vehicle hit a tree.
Emon, the lone bread earner of his family, was going to Sharshadi from Feni when pickets chased his vehicle and he tried to escape with his vehicle.
Three passengers on his vehicle were also injured.
In the capital, Jamaat-Shibir activists launched an attack on law enforcers from a procession at Bijoy Nagar around 7:00pm.
“Over 100 Jamaat-Shibir activists equipped with sticks and brick chips made the attack but police dispersed them after a half-hour-long clash,” said the officer-in-charge of Paltan Police Station.
Earlier in the day, Jamaat-Shibir men set fire to three vehicles in Mirpur-11, two each in Postagola and Shonir Akhra.
They also vandalised nine buses and exploded eight homemade bombs in the city while the law enforcers rounded up 15 pro-hartal activists.
In Chittagong, pickets exploded homemade bombs, torched at least seven vehicles and vandalised two minibuses.