Dhaka-split protesters clash with cops
Employees of Dhaka City Corporation fought pitched battles with police in front of Nagar Bhaban in the capital yesterday, protesting the government move to split the DCC into two.
At least eight DCC staff and four policemen were injured in the clash, sources on the two sides said.
The first spell of the clash began around 11:00am when law enforcers swooped on some DCC officials and employees as they were entering Nagar Bhaban in a procession, chanting slogans chanting slogan against the split, said Reaz Sheikh, a witness.
“All of a sudden, police started beating the protesters with batons, causing injury to one's head,” he said.
Demonstrators then ran for life, some of them managing to get inside the building where more than 1,000 DCC employees gathered on a three-hour work abstention from 9:00am to press home their demand.
Seeing their colleagues being attacked, some of the DCC staff tried to get out and take their injured colleagues to hospital but police stopped them.
At this, demonstrators then started throwing brick chips at the law enforcers who also hurled bricks in response turning the area into a battlefield, witnesses said.
However, Syed Nurul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of Ramna zone, said they did not foil any peaceful protest.
“When they [the protesters] tried to obstruct vehicular movement, we just tried to clear the road. But they attacked us,” he said.
But SM Mosharraf Hossain, leader of Bangladesh City and Municipality Employees' Federation, said police attacked a peaceful procession when it was entering the DCC office building.
Of the injured, DCC employee Qaiyum and four policemen -- Nayek Monju and constables Amzad, Swapan, and Obaidul -- were treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Abdul Latif, member secretary of Dhaka City Corporation Karmakarta-Karmachari Samonnay Parishad that organised the protest, said they would announce tougher movements if the government goes ahead with its plan of splitting the city corporation.
The cabinet on October 31 approved the plan.
Jahangir Kabir Nanak, state minister of the LGRD ministry, on Wednesday placed a bill in parliament seeking necessary amendments to the Local Government (City Corporation) Act, 2009 for implementing the split plan.
The bill is likely to be passed in the House tomorrow.