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9 killed in strike violence

Staff Correspondent

At least nine people, including four in Lalmonirhat and three in Jaipurhat, were killed as activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir clashed with law enforcers and ruling party men during the general strike the party enforced on Sunday.
A Chhatra League leader was stabbed to death in Lakshmipur while a Jamaat activist was found dead in Satkhira.
Stray incidents of violence were reported from places during the strike that Jamaat enforced in protest at the execution of its assistant general secretary Abdul Quader Molla that took place on December 12.
The New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat said that at least three Shibir activists and a Chhatra League activist were killed as Jamaat and Shibir clashed with the police and ruling party activists at Patgram on Sunday morning.
The deceased were Monirul Islam, 25, president of the Patgram unit Shibir, and Shibir activists Abdur Rahim, 22, and Saju Islam, and Chhatra League activist Mintu.
The Patgram police officer-in-charge, Sohrab Hossain, said that some Jamaat and Shibir activists had set up a picket line on a stretch of the Lalmonirhat-Burimari Road at Kafir Bazar about 7:30am.
As the police and a group of Chhatra League men chased them, Jamaat and Shibir activists exploded crude bombs and pelted the law enforces with stones, resulting in a clash that left Rahim and Saju dead on the spot and scores other wounded, including four with bullets.
Of the injured, Monirul died on way to Patgram Health Complex.
The pickets, equipped with sharp weapons, attacked the house of Chhatra League activist Mintu at Kafi Bazar about 1:00pm and stabbed him to death after dragging him out of the house.
The Patgram unit Jamaat amir, Saiful Islam, alleged that the Shibir men were killed as the police had fired into them.
The correspondent in Jaipurhat said that two Shibir activists and a rickshaw-puller had died in police firing when the were caught in a clash between the law enforcers and and Shibir activists at Puranapol in the
district headquarters in the afternoon.
The deputy commissioner of Jaipurhat, Md Yasin, said that about 1,000 to 1,500 Jamaat and Shibir activists had gathered at Halotri since Sunday morning planning to attack roadside establishments.
When the police were patrolling the area, Jamaat and Shibir activists encircled the police team. Border Guard Bangladesh and Rapid Action Battalion personnel rushed in, firing gunshots about 4.30pm, leaving the three dead.
In Lakshmipur, the district unit Chhatra League’s joint secretary Mirajul Islam was stabbed to death by unnamed people at Ludhua Bazar of Raipura about 4:45pm, additional superintendent of police Sheikh Shariful Islam said.
Witnesses said that Mirajul and his associate Masud were going through the area riding a motorcycle about 4.45pm.
Moments later, they were found bickering with with four people. At one point, the group of four stabbed them indiscriminately and left the place.
The police officer told New Age that they could not identify the attackers but suspected that Jamaat and Shibir might be responsible for the killing.
Few hours earlier, Jaipura municipality unit Juba League president Bahar was stabbed at the place by unnamed people about midday. He was admitted to upazila health Complex in a critical situation.
In Satkhira, a Jamaat activist was found dead at Kadamtala Bazar on Sunday morning a day after he had gone missing. The deceased was Habibur Rahman of Kuchpukur in the district headquarters.
Jamaat and the family claimed that Rapid Action Battalion personnel had picked up Habibur on Saturday from near his home and he was found dead near Kadamtala Bazar on Sunday morning.
The Satkhira police officer-in-charge, Enamul Haque, brushed aside the allegation and said that Habibur was a robber and he was wanted in 12 cases.
The district Jamaat amir, Abdul Khalek Mandal, said that Habibur was a Jamaat activist and law enforcers might have killed him.
Reports on arson, vandalism, clashes and bomb explosion were reported from many districts.
The correspondent in Rangpur said that train services from the district to Lalmonirhat, Santahat, Bogra and Dhaka remained snapped for 20 hours till 5.30pm because of the derailment of a locomotive at Pirgachha as Jamaat and Shibir activists had uprooted railway about 10:30 pm on Saturday.
In Chittagong, unnamed people exploded crude bombs targeting the house of the minister for water resources, Anisul Islam Mahmud, at Chadek Nagar of Hathazari. Anisul is also a presidium member of the Jatiya Party.
Pickets exploded two bombs targeting a police car at Agrabad. No casualty was reported.
In Sirajganj, at least 30 people, including three policemen, were injured as Jamaat and BNP activists clashed with the police. Pickets also exploded some crude bombs into the police, in which three constables were injured.
Pickets also removed the iron span of a bridge at Konagati on Dhaka–Sirajganj Highway early Sunday, roads and highways executive engineer in Sirajganj Md Muniruzzaman said.
In Pabna, pickets burnt a bus, headed for Pabna from Chatmohar, at Barai of Atgharia in the district about 7:00am.
In Narayanganj, the police arrested Shibir activists, injured with bullets, at Ukilpara after a clash early in the day.
The arrested are Mahmudul Haq, 25, of Haziganj in Chandpur and Shariful Islam, 24, of Nawabganj in Dinajpur.
The sadar police officer-in-charge, SM Monjur Kader, said that a group of Shibbir activists blocked a road stretch and exploded bombs targeting the law enforcers.
In Meherpur, pickets cut the fibre optic cable of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission in the morning at Rajnagar Dildatta,  resulting in disruption of telecommunications with Chuadanga and Meherpur.
They also blocked the Kushtia-Chuadanga Highway at Boalmari with logs and burning tyres.
In Jhenaidah, a group of miscreants on Saturday night beat up a policeman with rods at Saratala of Maheshpur.
In Magura, pickets set a truck laden with cotton on fire in the morning at Ramkantapur on the Magura–Jessore Highway, the correspondent said.
The correspondent in Bogra said that a group of masked people early in the day attacked and injured a freedom fighter.
In Khulna, detectives arrested the city unit Jamaat’s joint secretary Jahangir Hossain Helal at the judge’s court premises, Detective Branch inspector  Taimur Islam said.
Helal, also councillor of the Khulna Ward 31, was arrested in three cases relating to subversive activities, he said.

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