Jamaat-Shibir men run amok
20 injured, law minister’s convoy comes under attackStaff Correspondent
At least 20 people, including a local Juba League leader and number of policemen, were injured as activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked law enforcers and clashed with ruling party activists in the capital’s Karwanbazar and Farmgate area on Tuesday afternoon.
Police and witnesses said the Jamaat-Shibir men had also damaged a number of vehicles, including two cars of the law minister’s convoy.
A convoy of law minister Shafique Ahmed came under attack when it was crossing Sonargaon intersection at about 4:45pm. The flag-car carrying the minister escaped the attack, the minister’s APS Aksir M Chowdhuri told New Age.
Three policemen were injured when Jamaat-Shibir men swooped on a police van in the convoy, he said.
The Jamaat-Shibir activists also damaged the vehicle of assistant personal secretary of the minister, said the police.
‘It was a targeted attack, or why they would attack my security people all of a sudden,’ Shafique Ahmed told New Age on Tuesday evening.
The minister said he had been advised by intelligence agencies to move cautiously since the commencement of the war crimes trial.
The police arrested 16 Jamaat-Shibir activists during and after the violence, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police in a mobile text said.
Witnesses said that the ruling party activities, who were on guard at different points at the Karwanbazar and Farmgate to prevent opposition demonstrations, clashed with Jamaat-Shibir men in the afternoon.
Shortly afterwards, about three hundred Jamaat-Shibir activities launched a violent attack on the ruling party men forcing them to retreat and prompting the police to swing into action.
Juba League ward 26 secretary Lokman Hossain sustained critical injuries in the attack and was admitted to Shamarita Hospital on Panthapath.
The Jamaat-Shibir men hurled stones at the police and damaged a number of vehicles on the road, forcing the police at one point to retreat.
They also set fire to a motorbike at the Sonorgaon intersection before being dispersed by the police.
A procession of Jamaat-Shibir men was dispersed in front of Bashundhara City Shopping Complex.
In retaliation, the ruling party men ransacked the office of Islami Chhatra Shibir at Tejkunipara.
Tejgaon police officer-in-charge Omar Faruk, who was also slightly injured in the attack, told reporters that they had prior information that the Jamaat-Shibir men might cause trouble but were taken aback by the sudden attack.
Seven policemen were injured in the attack, Omar Faruk said.
Staff members of private television channel ATN News said that two of their microbuses, parked in front of their office at Karwanbazar, were damaged during the violence.
Large contingents of police and Rapid Action Battalion were deployed at Karwanbazar to prevent further troubles while ruling party men were seen regrouping to resist the Jamaat-Shibir men.
Two policemen – nayek Shaheedul Islam and constable Shaheen Reza – were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital with head injuries, the hospital sources said.
Jamaat-Shibir men, earlier had locked into violent clashes with police across the country, including in Dhaka, on November 5, 6 and 10.
Traffic police sergeant Azizul Haque sustained head injuries at Sonargaon intersection and his motorbike was torched.
A senior official at the police headquarters told New Age that they had instructed all units of police, including the RAB, to arrest the ‘miscreants’ of Jamaat-Shibir, who, according to the police officer, had unleashed terror.
Jamaat-e-Islami in a press statement, however, claimed that the police backed by the ruling party activists had pounced on a ‘peaceful’ procession they had brought out in protest at the arrest of Jamaat leader Miah Golam Parwar, leaving 10 of their activists injured.
In Khulna, five Shibir activists were injured as they clashed with police on Shamshur Rahman road in the city on Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses said Shibir activists had brought out a procession protesting at the arrest of Golam Parwar.
Shibir activists hurled stones at the police after being obstructed. Police fired tear gas and blank shots, triggering clashes that left five the Shibir men injured. The injured were admitted to a local clinic. Police picked up four Shibir activists from the spot.
Against the backdrop of a countrywide violence by the Jamaat-Shibir, the cabinet committee on law and order is scheduled to hold meeting at the secretariat today. Home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir will chair the meeting.
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