Blockade violence kills 10Staff Correspondent
Violence during the blockade of road, railway and waterways enforced by the opposition alliance seeking the cancellation of the national polls schedule left at least 10 people dead on the fourth day of the second spell of the opposition blockade on Tuesday.
With the death of nine people, and scores being wounded, the number of death reached 40 in violence after the opposition on November 25 started enforcing blockade against the schedule of the polls scheduled for January 5.
Most of them were killed in firing of police and Border Guard Bangladesh. But Tuesday’s figure is the highest in a single day during the blockade.
Islami Chhata Shibir activists Hossain Ali and Arijul Islam were killed in clashes with the police at Debhata in Satkhira when law enforcers tried to remove roadblocks.
Chhatra Dal activists Ratan and Siam were killed in police firing in the Chandpur town; Swechchhasebak Dal activist Russell was killed in police firing at Barabkunda, and Juba League leader Giasuddin was hacked to death by blockaders near the Satkhira town.
Trucker Mahbub and auto-rickshaw driver Ismail died after their vehicles had overturned when pickets chased them in Chittagong; retired madrassah teacher Abdus Stattar died from his burn injuries in Dhaka Medical College Hospital; Md Mizan, who sustained burn injuries at Saltgola in Chittagong early Tuesday, died in Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Shibir attacked the police and Border Guard Bangladesh personnel when they tried to remove logs and other roadblocks put by opposition activists at Sakhipur and Garanbari of Debhata in Satkhira.
As the lawmen retaliated by fire shots two activists of Shibir Hossain Ali, 19, and Arizul Islam, 14, died on the spot.
The New Age correspondent in Satkhira said that the lawmen had faced obstructions by Jamaat and Shibir at Sakhipur when they went there to clear the Satkhira–Kaliganj Road.
The law enforcers fired at least 50 gunshots. The Jamaat men had asked the lawmen to leave the place and exploded a number of crude bombs and pelted them with stones about 5:00am.
Law enforcers faced the same situation at Garanbari when they advanced from the Sakhipur crossing and fired several gunshots to disperse Jamaat and Shibir activists.
Debhata upazila unit Jamaat amir Asaduzzman Mukul said that bodies of madrassah student Hossain, who died at Sakhipur, and school student Arijul, who died at Garanbari, were in the possession of their families. He said that more than 20 Jamaat and Shibir activists had sustained bullet injuries in clashes at Sakhipur, Garanbari and Bharashimla.
The assistant superintendent of police, Laskar Tajul Islam, said that the law enforcers had to fire more than 100 gunshots at Sakhipur and Garanbari as Jamaat and Shibir activists had attacked them when they were trying to clear the Satkhira–Kaliganj Road.
The commander of the 38 BGB Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Imam Ahsan, said that BGB personnel had fired several gunshots in defence facing attack of Jamaat. He could not confirm whether anyone had died in the firing.
The Jamaat has called a general strike for Wednesday in Satkhira in protest against the killing.
Blockaders hacked an activist of Juba League on the outskirts of the Satkhira town hours after the killing of Shibir men at Debhata about 4:30pm.
Blockaders stopped Giasuddin, 38, an activist of the ruling Awami League’s youth wing and resident of Itagachha, at Mohammadpur when he was passing by in a motorcycle, hacked him indiscriminately, leaving him dead on the spot.
The Satkhira police officer-in-charge, Inamul Haque, said that the police had recovered his body from the spot.
The district unit Awami League general secretary, M Nazrul Islam, said that Jamaat and Shibir men had killed Giasuddin in a planned way.
Report from Chandpur said that a college student, Ratan, and a school student, Siam, had died and five had sustained bullet injuries in police firing in the Chandpur town during a clash between the police and opposition activists.
The BNP claimed that both of the deceased were activists of its student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal.
Ratan was a master’s student of Chandpur Government College and Siam was a Class VIII student of Al Amin Academy. Physicians at Chandpur General Hospital pronounced them dead after they had been sent there.
The police said that they had fired into opposition activists when they exploded a crude bomb into the police at Kalibari in the Chandpur town about 10:30am. The police stopped a procession of the activists.
The Chandpur police officer-in-charge, Mahbub Morshed, said that the police had fired gunshot in defence facing a bomb attack.
The Chandpur district BNP general secretary, Sheikh Farid Ahmed, said that police had fired into their peaceful procession without any provocation.
The correspondent in Chittagong said that Swechchhasebak Dal leader Russell died in police firing after midnight past Monday when blockaders clashed with police.
The police were escorting a convoy of 30 to 40 buses to Chittagong about midnight and the blockaders attacked the convoy triggering a clash. The police fired into pickets, leaving at least 20 wounded. Russell was pronounced dead after he had been sent to hospital.
The Muradpur union Swechchhasebak Dal president, Azam Tutul, said that Russell was a senior vice-president of the committee.
The BNP has called a daylong general strike in Sitakunda for today in protest against the killing.
Blockaders also removed 30-foot stretch of railway at Baratakia of Mirsarai early Tuesday.
Trucker Mahbub, 40, died as his covered van, laden with apparel products, headed off the road into a tree after pickets had exploded a petrol bomb into the vehicle at Saltgola early Tuesday.
The police said that Mahbub had lost control lost control when it caught in fire. Mahbub died on the spot, Abul Monsur, the officer-in-charge of the EPZ police, said . Two others suffered burn injuries in the incident, he added.
Mahbub’s assistant Md Mizan, who sustained severe burn injuries in the attack died from his injuries in Chittagong Medical College Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Auto-rickshaw driver Md Ismail, 40, died after his vehicle had overturned when he tried to drive away as pickets attacked it ion the Bhubani Mills area at Rangunia.
The Rangunia police office-in-charge, Wali Ullah Oli, said that Ismail’s auto-rickshaw had overturned when pickets chased him. He died on the spot.
Retired madrassah teacher Abdus Sattar, 68, who sustained burn injuries on November 30 in Patuakhali after pickets had set fire to the auto-rickshaw he was in, died from his injuries in Dhaka Medical College Hospital about around 9:30am on Tuesday.
DMCH burn unit resident surgeon Partha Sankar Pal said that he had been badly burnt.
With his death, al least 10 people who sustained burn injuries in the opposition’s blockade died in the hospital. More than 30 people are now being treated in the burn unit in the DMCH.
The correspondent in Sirajganj reported that the motorcade of Awami League candidate for the Sirajganj 4 constituency, Tanvir Imam, had come under attack at Banyakandi Hat area of Ullapara in the evening when he was holding a mass contact programme.
Former Ullapara mayor Maruf Bin Habib said that BNP and Jamaat activists had chased the motorcade and burnt five motorcycles. At least 15 were injured.
Tanvir, son of former adviser to the prime minister HT Imam, was unhurt.
The Ullapara police officer-in-charge, Tajul Huda, said that the motrcade had been attacked but no case had been filed in this regard.
Incidents of violence were also reported from Manikganj, Gazipur, Meherpur, Bogra, Lakshmipur, Barisal and Chittagong.
In Lakshmipur, several crude bombs were exploded at Jaksin Bazar, Dakhkhin Temuhini, Uttar bus stand and in front of Adrasha High School in the district town about 7:00am.
BNP and Jamaat activists also blocked Mandari and Dalal Bazar road stretches of the Lakshmipur–Dhaka Highway in the morning with burning tyres and logs.
In Gazipur, miscreants burnt a local Awami League office at Kapasia early Tuesday.
In Manikganj, blockaders burnt a truck at Muljan on the Dhaka–Aricha Highway early in the morning.
In Bogra, opposition alliance leaders and activists blocked Addirgola and Second Bypass with logs in the morning.
In Barisal, the police fired two blank shots as district unit Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leaders and activists blocked the road in front of the central bus terminal in the city about 6.45am.
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