Pro-hartal activists set fire to at least 23 vehicles and an office of ruling Awami League in Jatrabari and blasted 22 crude bombs in Dhaka and its adjacent areas during the first day of the opposition combine-called 60-hour hartal (shutdown) today.
Three persons including a 16-year-old boy were injured during the hartal violence in the capital.
The BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance called the hartal from 6:00am today demanding formation of an all-party polls-time government.
Meanwhile, all examinations including O-level and A-level will remain out of the purview of the hartal, said BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi while briefing at the party’s central office in the afternoon.
Miscreants torched a human hauler near the prime minister’s office around 9:10pm
Pro-hartal activists torched five vehicles including two buses, two mini coasters and a pickup van in Baridhara, Demra, Saatrasta, Uttara and Gazipur intersection areas respectively in the evening, police said.
Miscreants also blasted four crude bombs near Mouchak intersection around 9:20pm, witnessed our correspondent in the area.
At least 15 crude bombs went off at different times in Purana Paltan near Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) office since 7:15pm, a party men of the office told The Daily Star.
Miscreants carried out the blasts to create panic in the adjacent area, the CPB source added.
Earlier, hartal supporters torched six buses in Gabtoli, two in Savar and one each in Mirpur, Tongi, Jatrabari, Keraniganj and Ashulia while an auto-rickshaw and a pickup van in Tongi.
The incidents of explosions reported from in front of the Dhaka District and Sessions Judge’s Court, Election Commission’s office and different parts of the capital including Kakrail, Mohammadpur, Tejgaon, Nayapaltan and Tikatoli, reported our correspondents covering the event.
Law enforcers rounded up six people from Old Dhaka on charge of picketing.
They also recovered 17 crude bombs and half kilograms of gunpowder from the staff quarter of Dhaka University at Azimpur.
The members of law enforcement agencies were seen alert at different points in the city to avert any untoward incident during the hartal hours.
The presence of vehicles is thin on the city thoroughfares. The owners of private cars preferred to keep their vehicles in garaged fearing vandalism.
All the shopping malls and most of the roadside shops also remain closed.
BNP CENTRAL OFFICE
Police like other hartal days remain on alert in front of BNP central office at Nayapaltan of the capital.
But they were letting the main opposition leaders and activists to enter and come out their office.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir along with Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and some other leaders and activists of the party are staying at the office since early morning.
Pro-hartal activists set fire to the party office of ruling Awami League in Jatrabari in the morning.
A passenger of the bus which belongs to the energy ministry sustained injuries when pro-hartal activists hurled brick chips on it in front of Dania College in Jatrabari, Nazmul Hossain, driver of the vehicle, told The Daily Star.
JUDGE COURT BUILDING
Pro-hartal activists blasted a crude bomb in front of Judge Court building around 1:45pm.
ELECTION COMMISSION OFFICE
Hartal supporters also exploded a homemade bomb in front of election commission office around 1:30pm.
Suman, a teenager, sustained critical injuries during a bomb blast near the residence of Chief Justice in Kakrail around 2:00pm.
Police suspected that in accident took place when he was about to hurl the bomb.
Suman however claimed that the bomb exploded when an unknown person handed him over a bag carrying the cocktail.
As he opened the bag, it exploded, he said claiming that he works as a canteen boy.
Pickets torched six BRTC buses in Gabtoli bus terminal at 4:00am, Col Md Abdullahel Karim, director technical of BRTC told The Daily Star.
Two of the buses burnt to ashes while others were burnt partially, he added.
Pickets torched a bus in Mirerbazar around 4:30am, a pickup van at Hosen Market area and a CNG-run auto-rickshaw at 6:10am near Fire Station of Tongi.
Pro-hartal activists torched a bus on the embankment at Mirpur around 5:45am.
A bus was torched in Genda area on Dhakaand at Ashulia of Savar around 6:30am.
Pickets also torched a bus at Narshingpur around 6:30am and another in Dakkhin Keraniganj on early Sunday.
Police picked up six pickets from Dholai Khal area of Old Dhaka around 10:00am, said Elias Sharif, deputy commissioner (DC) of Wari division.
Jubo Dal activists vandalised a CNG-run auto-rickshaw around 7:30am in Kadamtoli.
Later, the party men hurled at least four cocktails from a procession in Dhulaipar area around 12:30pm.
Shibir activists blasted five cocktails in Ring road of Shyamoli.
Pickets exploded three cocktails near Rab-3 office at Tikatali in the capital around 8:30am.
The activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal brought out a procession in Badda and blasted four cocktails there.
JCD activists blasted a cocktail in the morning. Police fired several rounds of bullets to disperse the hartal pickets.
Police recovered 17 crude bombs and half a kilogramme of gun powder from a four-story building at Azimpur staff quarter of Dhaka University around 12:30pm, Lalbagh police said.
An official of Dhaka City Corporation (south) sustained injuries as pickets exploded a crude bomb in front of DCC Zonal Office-2 in Khilgaon.