At least three people were killed and around 100 injured across the country yesterday as Jamaat-e-Islami enforced a dawn-to-dusk hartal protesting the war crimes trial of its leader Abdul Quader Mollah.
As the International Crimes Tribunal-2 sentenced Quader Mollah to life imprisonment yesterday, Jamaat called another countrywide daylong hartal for today demanding cancellation of the ICT and release of its top leaders detained on war crimes charges.
The government last night deployed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members in different strategic points of the capital to avert any subversive activities over the verdict.
Around 6:30pm yesterday, Jamaat-Shibir cadres swooped on law enforcers in the port city's Dewanhat area. They opened fire and hurled hand-made bombs at police.
A pedestrian suffered injuries in the blasts.
Admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH), he succumbed to his injuries immediately after being taken to an operation theatre, doctors said.
The victim, Afzal Ahmed, 25, was a vendor from Pahartali, Chittagong.
Another pedestrian, Shafiqul Islam, 24, a garment worker, suffered serious injuries being hit by sticks as he was caught in the clash.
Shafiqul breathed his last at the CMCH around 9:15pm, Assistant Sub-Inspector Pankaj Barua of CMCH Police Camp said.
Earlier around 12:30pm, a man was killed in a gunfight between police and pro-hartal activists in the port city's Alankar intersection.
The victim, Imran Khan, was a first-year student of Chittagong Polytechnic Institute. Jamaat claimed the youth was its activist but his father told The Daily Star that he was not involved in politics.
Soon after the tribunal pronounced its verdict around 11:30am, Jamaat and its student body Islami Chhatra Shibir went berserk and vandalised more than 100 shops and automobiles at different parts of the country, said witnesses.
The rioters also torched at least 30 vehicles including five police vans.
Equipped with firearms and sharp weapons, Jamaat-Shibir men attacked police and hurled bombs at three places including Nababganj in Dinajpur leaving four police members injured.
Over 35 people in Chittagong and 65 more elsewhere suffered wounds when the Jamaat-Shibir cadres fought pitched battles with the law enforces. The injured include at least 25 policemen.
Witnesses told The Daily Star that several hundred pickets equipped with sticks and brick chips attacked police at Alankar intersection in Chittagong and blasted hand-made bombs around 1:00pm.
In Bahaddarhat intersection, over 2,000 Jamaat-Shibir men wielding guns brought out a militant procession around 1:00pm. They went on the rampage smashing shops and torching at least 20 vehicles.
The activists marched towards Panchlaish Police Station while firing shots. Police had to fire back to disperse the attackers.
At least eight people including an additional deputy commissioner and a constable of Chittagong Metropolitan Police were injured in clashes in the port city. They were admitted to CMCH.
Police nabbed 15 persons in connection with the Bahaddarhat incident.