Escorted convoy of trucks attacked
With no let-up in arson and bomb attacks by suspected opposition men, two more lives were lost yesterday raising the death toll to 28 in political violence since January 5.
Of the victims, Sanjid Hossain Ovi, an eleventh grader of Kabi Nazrul Government College in Dhaka, had been fighting for life at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
A portion of his face was blown off in a crude bomb blast while he was going to Banglabazar along with two of his friends around 8:00pm on January 14.
The eleventh grader, who had to work part-time to support his education, went beyond all struggles as he breathed his last around 1:00am yesterday.
JCD leader Mahbubur Rahman Bappy, 28, who was critically hurt while “making crude bombs” in Lalbagh area on Wednesday, died around 5:00am, said Mozammel Haque of DMCH police outpost.
The right wrist of Bappy, general secretary of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal Dhaka's New Market unit, was blown off in the explosion that also injured two minors -- Happy Akhter, 13 and Ripon, 6. The two were reportedly inside the room during the blast.
Meanwhile, stray incidents of vandalism, arson and explosion in different parts of the country marked the 17th day of the BNP-led 20-party alliance's blockade as hit-and-run attacks continued.
The last day of 48-hour hartal sponsored by the BNP-led alliance in Dhaka and Khulna divisions passed off without any major incident.
At least 308 vehicles were torched in different districts since January 5, according to the fire service. However, the number of vehicles torched is believed to be much higher as the fire service counts only those its members douse.
Yesterday, at least 15 vehicles were torched across the country, including four in the capital.
At the city's Mohammadpur, a human haulier helper was injured in a crude bomb attack.
In Narayanganj, miscreants set ablaze a microbus and a truck in the afternoon at Fatullah. No one was hurt as the arsonists forced out the passengers and drivers of the vehicles before setting those on fire, police said.
In Rajshahi, a pedestrian and two employees of a printing press suffered injuries as suspected blockaders attacked a convoy of 25 goods-carrying trucks at Dorikhorbona in the city around 1:00pm yesterday.
The trucks were going to Dhaka from Chapainawabganj and escorted by police, BGB and Rab.
Masem Sheikh, 40, his brother Kazin Sheikh, 28, both employees of Uttaran Printing Press, were admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital as splinter hit their ears and hands.
Abdur Rashid, 38, a pedestrian, was wounded in the right leg. He was given first aid at the hospital, said Iftekhar Alam, assistant commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.
Witnesses and law enforcers said some 10 masked men threw nearly a dozen cocktails and petrol bombs on a truck which was in the middle of the convoy, breaking its windshield. The other vehicles managed to speed away safely.
One of the bombs landed inside the printing press, damaging its shutter and glass walls.
The attackers also vandalised two tea stalls and torched chairs of Asha Salon at Dorikhorbona intersection while fleeing before the police reached the spot.
Police suspect Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of 20-party component Jamaat, was behind the attack.
Joint forces members arrested a Shibir man with two firearms and ammunition at Rajabari BGB check post at Godagari.
The arrestee is Anarul Islam, 23, of Shibganj upazila of Chapainawabganj. He was on his way to Rajshahi to deliver the arms and ammunition to his fellow Shibir men, said SM Abu Forhad, OC of Godagari Police Station.
In Chittagong, a garment worker was injured as blockade supporters hurled brickbats at a bus carrying workers in the city's Panchlaish area yesterday.
Sumi Akther, 20, of DK Apparels in Mohora area was admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital with cuts in her face.
In Chandpur, suspected opposition men set fire to the district AL office on Chandpur-Comilla highway yesterday.
Suspected blockaders torched two passenger buses and two vehicles in Sylhet, a human carrier in Gazipur and vandalised five battery-run three-wheelers in Jamalpur.
In Dinajpur, at least three people were burnt badly as pro-blockade activists hurled a petrol bomb at a truck at Bhatgaon of Kaharole upazila on Wednesday night.
In a separate incident, pickets torched two more trucks in Raniganj area of Ghoraghat upazila at 11:30pm Wednesday.
In Bogra, three people were injured, two critically, in a petrol bomb attack on a truck.
The injured are Titon Mia, Sujon and Abdur Rahim. They were first taken to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital. Sujon and Rahim was later brought to Dhaka Medical College Hospital after their condition worsened.
Mobile courts jailed two Jamaat leaders for two years in Satkhira and two others in Bogra over subversive activities.
Law enforcers arrested 45 people in Satkhira and 25 in Bogra.