Two killed as blockade turns violentStaff Correspondent
The blockade of roads, railway and waterways that the opposition alliance started enforcing on January 1 became violent on the third day on Friday, with two days left to the 10th national elections to be held tomorrow.
The alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party on the day also announced a general strike for 48 hours beginning this morning.
The alliance is enforcing the blockade to thwart the national elections scheduled for January 5. It earlier enforced blockade for 501 hours in 22 days in five spells beginni.ng on November 26 when the polls schedule was announced.
Violence, including explosion of crude bombs and the burning of vehicles, was reported in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Bogra, Lakshmipur, Jhenaidah, Pabna and Comilla.
In Dinajpur, two people died when miscreants had set a truck on fire. In Feni, five polling stations were set on fire early Friday, with two centres being damaged badly.
The joint forces, meanwhile, continued to carry out raids across the country, arresting 156 at places in 17 districts on Friday.
In Dhaka, violence was reported at Paribagh, Gulistan, Dhamondi and Uttara.
Three people, including a woman, sustained severe burn wounds as miscreants hurled a petrol bomb into a running bus at Paribagh.
The victims are bus driver Babul Haolader, 41, and passengers Shahina Akhter, 40, and Farid Mia, 60. They were sent to the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital.
Miscreants burnt a bus near Golap Shah Mazar at Gulistan in the afternoon. No one was, however, injured.
Islami Chhatra Shibir activists brought out a procession and exploded at least three crude bombs in the Uttara Azampur bus stand area. The police fired gunshots. The police later arrested at least six Shibir activists at the spot.
Blockaders also brought out a procession in the Dhanmondi area where they exploded crude bombs.
The Rapid Action Battalion, meanwhile, seized 20 petrol bombs from a slum at Agargaon early Friday.
In Dinajpur, two people died and three others became wounded when miscreants threw a petrol bomb at a truck laden with onions at Hilli of Hakimpur early Friday.
In Feni, miscreants burnt five polling stations set up in four schools and a madrassah at Daganbhuiyan early Friday, with two days left for the 10th general elections.
Preparations were all made for polling in the centres on Sunday. Two of the institutions were burnt badly while three others were partially damaged in the separate arson attacks between 1:30am and 3:00am, the New Age correspondent in Feni said quoting the police and local people.
In Laksmipur, the house of AL leader Saiful Islam, contesting the polls for the Lakshmipur 1 (Ramganj) constituency, came under attack when a group of miscreants fired a few rounds and exploded crude bombs.
In Narayanganj, blockaders hurled a petrol bomb into bus and a human hauler at Pathantali on the Narayanganj–Adamjee Road about 9:00am.
In Chapainawabganj, miscreants set fire to a truck carrying fruit at Kansat of Shibganj. The trucker and his assistant were seriously injured in the incident that took place about 2:30am.
In Bogra, Shibir activist Jewel Sarkar’s hands were blown off during an accident while he was trying to make bombs at Jamilnagar. Jewel was later arrested at the operation theatre in Islami Hospital and was sent to Dhaka for further treatment. Seven people, including officials, physicians and nurses of the hospital were detained in the incident.
In Comilla, miscreants burnt an Awami League office at Subarnapur Bazar of Pasthabi in the district headquarters early Friday morning.
In Pabna, miscreants burnt a truck at Chinakhara Bazar on the Dhaka–Pabna Highway at Sujanagar on Friday morning.
BNP activists blocked a stretch of the Pabna–Natore Highway at Muladuli rail line area and damaged to easy bikes on the Pabna–Kushtia Highway in the Rooppur crossing.
In Jhenaidah, miscreants exploded four crude bombs in front of the house of the upazila vice-chairman, JM Rashidul Alam, also an Awami League leader. No one was injured. The police seized a live bomb at the spot.
The joint forces, meanwhile, continued heavy law enforcement drives across the country.
The forces arrested 25 in Gazipur, 18 in Pabna, 20 in Jessore, 16 in Comilla, 11 in Khagrachari, 18 in Dinajpur, 13 in Natore, 6 in Narayanganj, 5 in Noakhali, 4 in Brahmanbaria, Jamalpur, Chandpur and Satkhira.
Three were arrested at places in both Lakshmipur and Gaibandha. One eachg was arrested at Maulvibazar and Dashmina in Patukhali.
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