Bhujpur, a remote area in Fatikchhari upazila, now looks like a war-torn zone. Thursday's fierce fight among Awami League (AL) men, Hefazat-e Islam supporters and police has left the villagers quite shaken. Nobody wants to talk to the media.
More than 5,000 people were accused yesterday in a case filed for attacking law enforcers and obstructing their work during the fight.
Of the accused, 100 were named.
AFM Najim Uddin, assistant superintendent of police of Hathazari circle, told The Daily Star that police filed the case with Bhujpur Police Station around noon.
Meanwhile, section 144 (a ban on movement of more than four people in a group) imposed on Bhujpur on Thursday to ward off further violence was withdrawn at 8:00pm, Fatikchhari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Anjana Khan Majlish told The Daily Star last night.
Three ruling Awami League men were killed and scores injured when activists of Hefajat-e Islam and Jamaat-e-Islami, joined in by locals, gathered through announcements over loudspeakers, attacked an anti-hartal procession of AL and Chhatra League at Kazirhat in Bhujpur.
Around 100 vehicles including motorcycles, jeeps, pick-ups, a police van and a fire truck were torched. Besides, some 20 shops were set ablaze during the mayhem.
Witnesses and local administration sources said at least 15 policemen, four firefighters, and two BGB men, were among the injured.
Of the injured, some 47 people were undergoing treatment at Chittagong Medical College Hospital yesterday.
Of them, condition of two -- who received head injuries -- was critical, said Moinuddin Jahed, on-duty doctor at the neurosurgery ward of the CMCH.
Namaz-e-Janaza of the three deceased AL men -- Forkan, 24, Md Rubel, 22, and Faruk Iqbal Bipul, 40 -- was held at Fatikchhari High School field after Asr prayers yesterday.
ATM Peyarul Islam, AL leader and ex-chairman of Fatikchhari upazila, said, "We brought out a motor procession, protesting Thursday's shutdown enforced by Shibir."
As the procession was going through Kazirhat around 11:30am, several hundred locals of Kazirhat, students of Kazirhat madrasa and activists of Jamaat and Hefajat swooped on the marchers with sharp weapons and sticks, he added.
"Things got worse following an announcement over loudspeakers from Kazirhat Bazar Jame Mosque that a procession was coming to attack the madrasa," he added.
A rickshaw puller, who witnessed the incident, said, "When they [the marchers] were going back, we heard an announcement from a nearby mosque that an imam had been killed in AL assault and the mosque and madrasa were under attack."
Police fired several rounds of bullets to disperse the unruly mob, said Shamsuddin Bhuiyan, officer-in-charge of Bhujpur Police Station.
Police picked up 44 people on Thursday night including local Jamaat leader and Bhujpur union chairman Shafiul Alam Nuri, one of the 100 named accused in the case filed by police yesterday.
Azizul Haq Islamabadi, organising secretary of Hefajat-e Islam, alleged that one of their supporters named Sekandar, 40, was also killed during the violence.
No administrative and independent sources, however, could confirm his claim.
Islamabadi denied Hefajat's involvement in the incident. He, however, acknowledged the madrasa in question is run by the Islamist organisation.
Some 25 local people were left bullet-hit as both the law enforcers and AL men fired at them, Azizul claimed.
Superintendent of Chittagong police AKM Hafiz Akhter told The Daily Star, "In our primary investigation it was revealed that Jamaat-Shibir men had provoked the villagers by spreading rumour."
ATTACK WAS PLANNED
Police suspect the attack on law enforcers was planned, as more than a hundred vehicles were burnt within a span of an hour. Some inflammatory substance might have been used during the torching, said a high official of Chittagong district police.
Law enforcers were also trying to find the person who made the announcement from mosque, he added.