12:00 AM, January 30, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 30, 2013

Jamaat remains violent

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Star Report

Just the day after launching synchronised attacks on police in the capital and elsewhere, Jamaat-Shibir rioters torched two buses and smashed five others in Old Dhaka yesterday.
Witnesses said a group of 20 to 25 youths, equipped with sharp weapons, sticks and brickbats, damaged vehicles parked in front of Bahadur Shah Park near Jagannath University around 8:30am.
They burned down two passenger buses of Skyline Paribahan, vandalised at least five others and fled as police rushed to the spot. None of them chanted any slogan or carried any banner.
Mohammad Nazir, owner of the Skyline Paribahan, filed a case with Sutrapur Police Station against 20 to 25 unidentified people for torching his two buses.
Gazi Mozammel Hossain, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Wari), said Jamaat-Shibir carried out the arson and the vandalism.
The Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir went on the rampage on Monday injuring at least 70 people, including 50 policemen, wrecking around 200 vehicles and setting four others afire to pressure the government to cancel the war crimes trial.
Seven cases have been filed in the capital for Monday's violence.
According to police, two cases were filed with Shahbagh, two with Paltan, two with Motijheel and one with Sutrapur police stations accusing 82 named and around 1,000 unnamed leaders and activists of the organisations.
In four of the seven cases, 50 Jamaat-Shibir cadres have been arrested and placed on remands.
Monirul Islam, deputy commissioner of Detective Branch (South), said Shibir cadres are launching terror attacks on Jamaat's instructions only to frustrate the war crimes trials.
The top brass of Jamaat, considered by many an anti-liberation force and a patron of religious bigotry, are facing trials for committing crimes against humanity in 1971.
Meanwhile, the party enforced a daylong hartal yesterday at Banshkhali upazila in Chittagong protesting arrest of some of their members while a half-day hartal at Kotchandpur upazila protesting the “arrest of their 17 leaders and activists”.
Most of the shops in the areas remained open and traffic was almost normal. Shops were shut only at Chambal of Banshkhali, said witnesses.
The party also called half-day hartal in five other districts -- Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Naogaon, Natore and Chandpur -- for today over the same issue.
Around 4,000 people have been sued in Banshkhali for Monday's assaults that left at least 20 people, including 10 policemen, wounded.
Also, Shibir has called an eight-hour hartal in three districts of Rajshahi division for today demanding release of Mostafizur Rahman, its social welfare affairs secretary, and Atikur Rahman, office secretary. The two have been arrested in the capital.
In an email sent to different local newspaper offices in Rajshahi yesterday, the organisation said it would observe the shutdown in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon from 6:00am today.
Police last night banned political activities in Rajshahi metropolitan area for today.
Also yesterday, police arrested 17 Jamaat-Shibir leaders and activists in six upazilas of Jhenidah.
Four Shibir activists were detained in Barisal and indicted in Friday's assault on police.
Law enforcers also arrested three Jamaat activists at Gopalganj town yesterday noon and three leaders in Madaripur Monday night.
(Our correspondents from Chittagong, Rajshahi, Natore, Jhenidah, Barisal, Gopalganj and Madaripur contributed to this report).

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