At least 27 people including policemen were injured and 70 vehicles vandasised as BNP activists reportedly clashed with the law enforcers in the secretariat area of Dhaka this afternoon.
A motorbike of a lawman was also torched during the clash around 2:50pm, creating a huge traffic jam there that spilled over to Shahbagh, Gulistan, Chankharpul and Banglamotor areas in the capital, police said.
The clash ensued as police intercepted a procession of BNP around 2:50pm after the party Chairperson Khaleda Zia came out of a court, giving her self-defence statement in connection with graft cases, said Maruf Hossain Sardar, deputy commissioner of DMP (Ramna zone).
A witness said police put up barbed-wire barricades when the BNP men tried to march toward the Bakshibazar from Doyel Chhattar intersection.
As the party men tried to break through the barricades and threw brickbats to the lawmen, the latter charged batons and fire several round of teargas shells to disperse them, the witness aid.
Obstructed by the police, the BNP men started “vandalising” the vehicles parked beside the Secretariat and Sikkha Bhaban area on the Abdul Gani Road indiscriminately, eyewitnesses said.
They also torched a motorbike of a police sergeant who was on duty at Bangabazar intersection, police said.
At least three policemen and two dozens of BNP men were injured in the half-an-hour clash, sources at police and BNP claimed.
“I was in the driving seat of my car. Suddenly I saw several hundred men were running back through the Abdul Gani Road. They were shouting saying vandalise vehicles. They throw brickbats on vehicles and also hit those with sticks in their hands,” Harun Ali, a driver of power ministry, said.
Another driver named Amir Hossain said in face of police chase, the BNP men vandalised almost all vehicles including his car which they found on roads.
DMP Deputy Commissioner Maruf Hossain Sardar told The Daily Star that police fired seven to eight rounds of teargas shells to disperse them and detained around 20 to 25 people from the spot for interrogation.