4 dead in rly sabotage
3 more killed in blockade violenceStaff Correspondent
At least six people died in violence on Wednesday as a train derailed after blockaders had removed rails, clashed with the police, and chased and attacked vehicles in places.
Another man, who was wounded in an arson attack on a bus near the Shahbagh crossing in Dhaka on November 28, died in the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital early Wednesday, the fifth of the six-day blockade of road, railway and waterway the BNP-led opposition alliance started enforcing on Saturday morning. The blockade will end at 5:00pm today.
The opposition alliance earlier enforced a similar countrywide blockade for 71 hours beginning in the morning on November 26.
The alliance is enforcing the blockade centring on the demand for a non-party , election-time government, the cancellation of the polls schedule and the release of opposition leaders arrested during the blockade.
Four unnamed passengers died as the Padmarag Express had derailed at Bonarpara after blockaders had removed the fishplates of the railway.
Juba Dal activist Harunur Rashid died in a clash with the police in Feni and businessman Ujjwal Sarkar died after a three-wheeler, chased by blockaders, had overturned in Kishoreganj.
Wahidur Rahman Babu, who was wounded on November 18 as a bus was set on fire near the Shahbagh crossing, died in Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Opposition activists battled law enforcers, attacked the house of a ruling party lawmaker, burnt and vandalised vehicles, and removed railway across the country on the day. The removal of railway disrupted train services with the capital.
Railway remained the prime target of blockaders as they continued to remove fishplates, loosen rails and burn slippers, causing the derailment of the Padmarag Express at Bonarpara in Gaibandha, the Nakshikantha Express at Bejerdanga in Khulna and the Meghna Express at Shahtali in Chandpur, severing train communications on the Lalmonirhat–Dhaka, Dhaka–Khulna and Chandpur–Chittagong routes.
At least four passengers died and about 50 became injured when Padmarag derailed after miscreants had removed fishplates and clips of the rails at Burungi near the Bonarpara station of Saghata in Gaibandha. The identity of the deceased could be immediately established.
The locomotive and three passenger coaches of Padmarag derailed about 1:30am, the Government Railway Police said. The train was headed for Santahar from Lalmonirhat
The injured were sent to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital in Bogra and Gaibandha General Hospital.
A salvage train from Bonarpara and fire fighters from Gaibandha, Rangpur and Sonatala carried out the rescue operation, which was wrapped up about 11:00am, Mohammad Sazid Hossain, the superintendent of police of Gaibandha, said.
Lalmonirhat railway divisional traffic superintendent Mostafizur Rahman said that train services of the Lalmoni Express, the Rangpur Express, the Ekata Express, the Dolanchapa Express and four four more pairs of local and mail trains had to be cancelled because of the derailment.
At least 10 passengers of the Nakshikanta Express became injured as five of its compartment coaches and the locomotive derailed about 1:30am after blockaders had removed railway at Jugnipasa of Phultala in Khulna. The train was headed for Khulna from Goalanda. The injured were sent to medical facilities.
The derailment snapped train communications between Khulna and the rest of the country. Two relief trains from Khulna and Ishwardi reached the place to clear the railway for an early resumption of train services.
Reports from Chandpur said that three compartment coaches of the Meghna Express had derailed between Shahtali and Madhuroad stations on the outskirts of the town as blockaders removed the rails.
No train reached Chittagong from Dhaka as repairs of the coaches and the locomotive was going on in Comilla.
The Chittagong station master, Shamsul Alam, said that no trains but the Sagarika Express had left Chittagong. Mahanagar Godhuli, Subarna, Turna Nishitha from Dhaka and Udayan Express from Sylhet could not reach Chittagong.
The divisional railway office in Dhaka said that 10 trains had not left Dhaka and 10 more had failed to reach Dhaka from destinations including Chittagong, Lalmonirhat and Rajshahi.
The Kamalapur railway station master, Nripendra Nath Saha, said that the Ekata Express headed for Dinajpur and the Sundarban Express headed for Khulna had left Dhaka at least 12 hours behind the schedule. The Rangpur Express was later by 10 hours and the Silk City Express, headed for Rajshahi, was later by six hours.
Ujjwal Sarkar died after a battery-run human hauler had overturned at Chauddashata on the Dhaka–Kishoreganj Highway after blockaders had chased it on its way to the Kishoreganj town from Pakundia about midnight past Tuesday.
Ujjwal fell under the three-wheeler after it had overturned. The critically wounded Ujjwal was sent to Kishoreganj General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Wahidur Rahman Babu, a student of Dhaka College who sustained burn injuries in the arson attack on a bus near Shahbagh on November 28, died in hospital early Wednesday.
With Wahidur, three victims of the arson attack on the bus at Shahbagh died. Eleven of the people who fell victim to arson attacks during the general strike and the blockade the opposition alliance has been enforcing since October 26 have died from their injuries. Thirty-one others were being treated in hospital.
The New Age correspondent in Feni said that Juba Dal activist Harunur Rashid had died and seven others had sustained bullet injuries in a clash with the police on Shahidullah Kaiser Road in the district town in the evening.
At least 30 people were injured in the clash, resulting in the rampage of the a police outpost in the town by blockaders. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party has a daylong general strike in the district for today.
The assistant superintendent of police, M Shamsul Alam Sarkar, said that more than 100 crude bombs had been exploded into the police from a procession of opposition activists. The police fired 150 teargas shells and gunshots in defence, which caused the clash to spill over into alleys.
The blockaders also attacked the police outpost in which two policemen were injured. Several business establishments were vandalised.
At least eight people including three policemen were sent to Feni General Hospital with bullet injuries where the wounded Harunur was pronounced dead. Harunur was vice-president of the Farhadnagar unit Juba Dal.
The correspondent in Gazipur said that miscreants had set fire to the house of ruling party lawmaker AKM Mozammel Haque, also the district unit Awami League president, in the city early Wednesday.
Mezbah Uddin, private sectary to the lawmaker, said that miscreants had poured kerosene on the wall of the house and set it on fire.
Local people put out the flames. No casualty was reported. Mozammel Haque was not in the house at the time.
The police recovered an empty jerry can and matches from the spot.
The Gazipur municipal unit Awami League brought out a procession and held a rally in protest at the attack. The district Awami League will hold rallies denouncing the attack today.
The house also came under a bomb attack two weeks ago.
Blockaders wounded a leader of the Satkhira Awami League Abdus Sattar Jewel hacking him indiscriminately when he was on his way to Satkhira from Bhomra.
The blockaders waylaid him at Alipur and stabbed him. He was sent to Satkhira General Hospital.
Mostafizar Rahman Nazmu, vice-president of the Darbast union Awami League at Gobindaganj in Rangpur, was beaten up by blockaders at Khasar bazar of Palashbari in Gaibandha.
Blockader at Raipur in Lakshmipur attacked a police station in protest against obstruction of procession in support of the blockade.
The opposition activists vandalised the Raipur police station and exploded five crude bombs in its compound after the police had obstructed the procession marching towards the upazila election office.
At least eight people were injured after the police and opposition activists had clashed.
The Raipur police officer-in-charge, Rupak Kumar Saha, said that the police had information that the opposition activists would attack the police station for which they had obstructed the procession. The activists alter pelted the police station with stones, he said. The filing of a case is under way.
At least 15 people became injured in clashes involving activists of the BNP, the Awami League and police at Purbadhala in Netrakona. The police fired five rubber bullets to disperse the activists.
The correspondent in Lalmonirhat said that at least 12 people, including three policemen, had become injured in a clash between the police and Jamaat and Shibir men at Kafir Bazar of Patgram in the district.
The clash broke out after Jamaat and Shibir activists had cordoned off the police and attacked a police van when 12 policemen went to the spot to arrest Jamaat leader Sahidul Islam. Female activists of Jamaat and Shibir also took part in cordoning off the police. The police retreated by firing rubber bullets.
The Patgram police officer-in-charge, Sohrab Hossain, said that they were preparing to reinforce police deployment at the spot for a drive to arrest the Jamaat leader.
Reports from Jhenaidah said that at least 15 people, including two journalists, had become injured in a clash between the police and opposition activists at Arappur in the Jhenaidah town. The police fired 18 gunshots and teargas shells to disperse the activists.
Assistant superintendent of police Nazrul Islam said that the opposition alliance had clashed with police when they were stopped from bringing out a procession.
The injured included Ekattar TV correspondent Razib Hasan and Maasranga TV correspondent Shahrier Rahman Rocky.
The correspondent in Chittagong said that blockaders had set fire to a bus at Sholashahar but no one was injured.
Witnesses said that unnamed people, who were in the guise of passengers, had set the bus on fire when it reached the Sholashahar bus stop. Panclaish police inspector Abdul Aziz said that the police had put out the flames with the help of local people.
The police on Wednesday evening filed a case with the EPZ police against 60 people, including two ward councillors who are BNP leaders, over the death of a trucker and his assistant at Saltgola crossing early Tuesday.
Reports from Barisal said that opposition activists had exploded crude bombs in front of the upazila election office. Barisal sadar upazila election officer Abdul Mannan said that police deployment had been reinforced after the explosion.
Clashes between the police and blockaders took place at Satmail on the Barisal–Dhaka Highway where the police fired 18 gunshots into blockaders. At least 11 people, including two policemen, were injured.
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