Shahbagh blocked during students’ hartal for Tonu
Student bodies blockaded Dhaka's key intersection Shahbagh during the countrywide hartal clamped protesting government's failure to arrest the killers of Comilla college student Sohagi Jahan Tonu.
A road blockade was also placed on the Dhaka-Aricha highway during the half-day shutdown that saw no untoward incident, but batons of police and detention of at least 13 students.
Heat generating at Shahbagh. Students lay down on road after cops try to find an opening through the intersection pic.twitter.com/TkzVq36tmj
— Sujit Sarker (@sujitsarker003) April 25, 2016
Progressive Students' Alliance and Anti-Imperialist Students' Union, two major alliances of left-leaning students’ bodies, who sponsored the hartal, blockaded Shahbagh early morning.
Traffic in Dhaka city was thinner than usual in the starting hours. Private cars and public buses were plying the streets and their numbers increased as the day progressed.
In Savar, police detained at least 13 pro-hartal activists after they blockaded Dhaka-Aricha highway for about an hour. Ashulia Model Police Officer-in-Charge Mohsinul Quadir told The Daily Star the detentions were made to clear the highway.
Faisal Mahmud, coordinator of Anti-Imperialist Students' Union, told The Daily Star that the hartal programme earned support from all corners of Bangladesh.
"We received news that 15 pro-hartal activists have been arrested in Jahangirnagar University. Hartal supporters have been attacked in Bogra, Joypurhat, Gazipur. Some of our activists have been detained there."
Student bodies and pro-hartal activists were also seen in position at Mohammadpur, Malibagh, Paltan, and Old Dhaka in the capital to clamp the hartal. Separate processions were brought out at Paltan and Shahbagh – the political hub of Dhaka.
Comilla's Victoria College student Tonu's bloody body was found inside Comilla cantonment on March 20. Though a month has passed, the government has inched no closer to identifying the killers.
Last evening, after campaigning for weeks, the student bodies marched with torches at Dhaka University. They say their hartal is a protest against abuse and repression on all women in the country.