Sporadic clashes mark BNP hartal in Sylhet division
At least 35 people were injured and dozens of vehicles vandalised in Habiganj and Moulvibazar districts during sporadic clashes as the BNP-enforced hartal paralysed normal activities in four districts of Sylhet division yesterday.
BNP called the daylong general strike to protest 'disappearance' of the party's Organising Secretary (Sylhet division) and former lawmaker M Ilias Ali from the capital on Tuesday night.
BNP supporters scuffled with police and snatched away a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal activist Zobayer, who was picked up for picketing at Shayestanagar area in Habiganj at about 11:00am, reports our staff correspondent from Sylhet.
The police then resorted to baton charge and dispersed the agitators.
At about 2:00pm, a group of Jubo League men and transport workers locked in clash with the BNP-JCD pickets in 'jeep stand' area of Baniachong upazila town. The hour-long incident left at least 20 people injured while a bus and about 30 four-wheelers (locally called chander gari) were vandalised.
Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) AB Barua said the situation was peaceful and there had been no report of any untoward incident in the city till 5:00pm.
Sylhet Superintendent of Police Md Shakhawat Hossain also said the hartal passed off peacefully all over the district.
District and city BNP held rally at the Court-point area in the afternoon with city BNP chief MA Haque in the chair.
In Sylhet, passenger buses and private cars stayed off roads. Very few CNG-run three wheelers plied the city streets. Rickshaws were also found plying in thin numbers. No long-route buses left the city terminal since morning.
Educational institutions, business establishments, most shops and shopping malls beside the major thoroughfares remained closed.
Meanwhile, the education ministry in a handout on Wednesday postponed yesterday's Higher Secondary Certificate examinations under Sylhet Education Board and Technical Education Board citing unavoidable reasons.
Our Moulvibazar correspondent adds: Administration clamped a ban on assembling (Section 144) in Baralekha upazila headquarters from 1:45pm to 6:00pm as 15 leaders and activists of BNP and AL were injured in a clash in the upazila.
Of the injured, Baralekha BNP leaders Saiful Islam Khokon and Anur Ahmed and Jubo Dal leader Hazi Selim were admitted to Baralekha upazila health complex.
Injured AL leader and UP Chairman Sueb Ahmed, BCL activist Rimon, UP member Yeasin Ali and upazila BNP President Abdul Hafiz took first aid.
SWECHHASEBAK DAL CALLS HARTAL ON MONDAY
The district and city units of Swechchhasebak Dal will stage a sit-in at Court Point in the city at 2:00pm on Saturday.
Besides, they have called a daylong hartal in the district on Monday, said central Vice-president Shamsuzzaman Zaman, also district convener. They announced it at the rally at Court Point yesterday.
Meanwhile, police filed two cases for vandalism and attack on the lawmen during Wednesday's road blockade on Dhaka-Sylhet highway.