150 injured as BNP men clash with cops
At least 150 people were injured in separate clashes between police and BNP activists in Kishorganj and Noagaon yesterday.
The clashes ensued when the party activists tried to bring out processions as a part of their central programme.
In Kishoreganj town, at least 100 people were injured in two separate clashes between BNP activists and policemen.
Aminul Islam Ashfaq, organising secretary of the BNP's Kishoreganj district unit, claimed that some 100 men were injured when police attacked them at the town's Sholakia and Ekrampur areas without any provocation.
As per the party's central programme, protesting "killing people on Independence Day", the party men in processions were on way to the district party office in Rothkhola area around 11:30am.
Soon after bringing out the processions, police rushed to the spot and started throwing abusive words towards them and at one stage they started beating up the party men, alleged Ashfaq.
They also fired gunshots and lobbed teargas shells, he added.
It was an exceptional incident as police attacked the party men without any reason and around 100 were injured, said Hazi Israil Mia, another organising secretary of the district BNP who has been leading the procession in Ekrampur area.
The injured party men were taking treatment at different private clinics and hospitals in and outside the district.
Emdad Hossain, 32, joint-secretary of Jubo Dal's Sadar upazila unit convener, sustained bullet wounds at different parts of his body and he was shifted to Dhaka in critical condition, claimed Hazi Israil.
Contacted, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Kishoreganj Sadar Police Station Abdullah Al Mamun said defying the government's instruction for not holding any public gathering as coronavirus pandemic takes its serious turn, BNP men brought out the processions in Sholakia and Ekrampur areas and they also ransacked several shops on their way.
On information, separate police teams rushed to the spots and asked the party men not to organise any public rally but the unruly BNP men attacked police teams first with brick chunks, and in retaliation, police went on action for the safety of people and their wealth, the OC said.
Denying firing on the party men, the OC also said police fired blank shots and lobbed teargas to bring the situation under control.
The OC also said that three policemen, including sub-inspector Joynal Abedin and two constables, were injured during the attack and they were given primary treatment.
The situation is under control now and additional police have been deployed in the town to avert the further untoward situation, he added.
In Naogaon town, at least 50 people were injured as the BNP men clashed with the police for almost half an hour yesterday.
The clash ensued at 12:00 noon when several hundred BNP men attempted to bring out a procession at KD's Intersection and the police dispersed them by charging batons.
The police fired teargas shells and rubber bullets while the BNP men regrouped minutes later, threw brick chips toward the police, and tried to set fire on tires on the road, Nazrul Islam, OC of Naogaon Sadar Police Station, said.
The district BNP convener Hafizur Rahman said their men were attacked without any provocation when they brought out a procession as part of their countrywide programme.
BNP activists Mili Akter and Azizul Haque were admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital while others were treated at local clinics, he said.
The OC said at least six policemen were also hurt with brick chips in the clash.
Our correspondents in Rajshahi and Mymensingh contributed to this report.