Violence, clashes and fires mark Hefajat’s day-long hartal
The nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal, enforced by Hefajat-e-Islam today, was marked with sporadic incidents of clashes, vandalism, arson attacks and roads blockades in different parts of the country.
The hartal began around 6:00am today and ended at 6:00pm.
Few vehicles were seen in the capital, with many opting to travel by rickshaws.
A large number of law enforcers remained deployed at important city points to fend off any trouble, UNB reports, adding that only a few long-distance buses left Dhaka for different districts while the train service was normal with poor presence of passengers.
Hefajat activists brought out processions in different areas of the capital, including Jatrabari, Paltan, Baitul Mukarram, Lalbagh, Mohammadpur and Basila, in support of the shutdown, the UNB report says.
Hefajat activists blocked Jatrabari and Signboard in the morning setting fire to tyres.
Hefajat supporters also gathered on Basila Bridge in the capital's Mohammadpur area and blocked the roads there. They put up barricades on roads near Mohammadpur bus stand by setting fire to tyres in the morning, UNB reports.
Pro-hartal picketers locked into a clash with Chhatra League activists in Sat Masjid area over blocking roads.
However, police brought the situation under control.
Police also foiled an attempt of blocking roads by the pro-hartal elements in the city's Lalbagh area.
According to reports reaching the UNB news desk, hartal supporters engaged in clashes, vandalism and arson attacks in different districts, leaving many people injured damaging vehicles, destroying different offices and public property.
Three people were killed in two separate clashes between Hefajat-e-Islam activists and police in Sarail upazila and Brahmanbaria district town today.
Meanwhile, the hartal supporters also attacked Brahmanbaria Press Club and confined some journalists to the club building, UNB reports.
President of Brahmanbaria Press Club Riaz Uddin Jami was injured in an attack by the hartal supporters.
In Kishoreganj town, around 50 people, including 10 policemen, were injured in separate clashes during the dawn-to-dusk hartal.
Meanwhile, 15 people, including the officer-in-charge of Sirajdikhan Police Station, were injured in a clash between police and Hefajat-e-Islam activists in Sirajdikhan upazila of Munshiganj this noon.
Elsewhere, at least 10 passengers were injured when Hefajat activists attacked a Chattogram-bound train from Dhaka –- Sonar Bangla Express -- at Dakshin Poirotola in Brahmanbaria around 10:00am today.
In Sylhet city, five people were injured as Hefajat-e-Islam activists clashed with local Awami League and Chhatra League men this noon.
In Narayanganj, at least 30 people were injured, including one with bullet, in a clash between hartal supporters and members of law enforcement agencies in Mouchak area of Siddhirganj upazila.
In Chattogram, the shutdown was observed almost peacefully, UNB reports.
Road communications between the port city and other parts of the country remained suspended since noon as no long-route bus left Chattogram due to the hartal.
Some students of Al Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrasah cut roads and created a number of holes on Chattogram-Khagrachhari highway early today, disrupting communications on the road.
In Rajshahi, unidentified criminals set fire to two stationary buses of Bangladesh Road Transport and Corporation (BRTC) at Rajshahi Truck Terminal in the city's Amchattar area.