1 killed in clash with police
A madrasa student was shot dead and 30 people were injured yesterday in clashes between law enforcers and madrasa students, who brought out a procession in Jessore in support of today's dawn-to-dusk hartal across the country.
Islamic Law Implementation Committee, headed by Chief of an Islami Oikya Jote faction Fazlul Haque Amini, called the hartal to protest the proposed National Women Development Policy 2011. The committee has demanded scrapping of the policy saying it goes against the tenets of the Qur'an.
The cabinet on March 7 approved the policy with a provision of women's equal share in property and their opportunity in employment and business.
However, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury has said the policy is not a law and it contains nothing that might affect the inheritance laws.
Witnesses said madrasa students brought out a procession from the Railway Madrasa under the banner of Hefajat-e-Islam in the morning to drum up support for today's hartal, reports our correspondent in Benapole.
When police intercepted the procession near Zilla School intersection on Mujib Sarak at around 11:30am, the madrasa students attacked the law enforcers with sticks and pelted them with brickbats.
Police lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse them in vain. The law enforcers then fired shots at madrasa students leaving Ahmed Hussain, 19, student of Railway Madrasa and son of Ismail Hossain of Monirampur upazila, seriously injured, said witnesses.
Ahmed was taken to Jessore Sadar Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds at about 12:00noon.
However, Emdad Hossain, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station, claimed the bullet that killed Ahmed was not fired by police. He said some protesters fired on the law enforcers during the clashes.
The police officer said they had to intercept the procession to maintain law and order in the town. The madrasa students did not take any permission from authorities concerned to bring out the procession, he said.
Emdad said police were compelled to fire shots into the air after the madrasa students attacked them and shot at the law enforcers.
Anwarul Karim, chairman of Hefajat-e-Islam and khatib of Karbala mosque, said the injured students were receiving treatment.
The injured policemen were admitted to the Sadar Hospital.
Meanwhile, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a statement condemned the firing on the pro-hartal procession.
Khaleda's Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan said the former premier heard about the incident on her arrival in Dhaka and offered condolence over the death of the madrasa student.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Shahjahan Mia urged the Islamist group to withdraw the hartal and sit with the government to discuss the women development policy.
The hartal was called to hamper the trial of war criminals, the minister told reporters at his secretariat office.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Benazir Ahmed said police would maintain security of people going about their daily chores in the capital.
“Action will be taken, if anyone tries to disrupt law and order,” he said while talking to reporters at the DMP headquarters.