With their continued efforts to disrupt rail communication, opposition activists yesterday uprooted 72 feet of rail line near Sabgram Chhatiantola in Bogra town. At Ashoktola in Comilla town, a train derailed in the wee hours yesterday after pickets uprooted the rails there. Photo: Star
Two Chhatra League men were killed and five others sustained injuries when pro-BNP Chhatra Dal cadres attacked their anti-blockade demonstration in Narsingdi last night.
Anwar Hossain Anu and Shaheedul Haque of Palash upazila unit of Chhatra League, a pro-Awami League student body, died on their way to local hospitals.
Sources said the Chhatra League activists were holding an anti-blockade rally in front of Sohag Cinema in Ghorashal municipality area.
Around 8:00pm, 10-12 Chhatra Dal activists attacked them with guns and sharp weapons.
In Dhaka, opposition activists torched a moving bus near Shishu Park in the evening badly burning 19 of its occupants. One of the injured later died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
The pickets also torched four vehicles and vandalised three more in the capital.
So far, at least 19 people have lost their lives in violence and attacks during the nationwide blockade that began Tuesday morning.
Dhaka remained virtually cut off since the opposition enforced the blockade and its activists continued their attack on people, vehicles and the railway network yesterday.
Rail communication remained snapped on several routes on the last day of the 71-hour blockade yesterday, as pickets removed fishplates, sleepers, and rail tracks and made fire on rail lines.
The BNP-led 18-party opposition combine had initially called for a 48-hour blockade of roads, rail and waterways but the alliance extended it by 23 hours in two phases -- first by 12 hours and then by 11 hours -- protesting the "killing of its activists and government suppression".
The opposition men yesterday blocked highways and fought pitched battles with law enforcers and ruling party men in several districts, leaving around 150 injured, reports our district correspondents.
Pro-blockade activists took off fishplates from the Dhaka-Chittagong rail line in Comilla town derailing the Udayan Express around 2:00am and suspending communication between Dhaka and Chittagong and Sylhet for 12 hours.
The railway authorities had to cancel two intercity trains from Chittagong due to the sabotage in Comilla.
Opposition activists cut off and took away three feet of rail at Atrai Upazila in Naogaon around 4:00am, suspending railway communications in the western zone for three hours.
Uttara Express, Ekota Express, Neel Sagar Express, Titumir Express and Drutojan Express got stranded at stations nearby.
The opposition men blocked the rail line between Harian and Belpukur in Rajshahi with logs and burning tyres. Rail traffic was suspended for an hour yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, train services on Dhaka-Mymensingh route resumed around 11:40am after remaining suspended for over 60 hours following the derailment of Agnibeena Express at Bankharia in Sripur of Gazipur.
Pickets also uprooted rail tracks in Bogra and made fire on rail lines in Natore and Chandpur.
In Sylhet, at least 60 people were injured during a clash between opposition activists and law enforcers at Beanibazar upazila around 9:30am after the blockade supporters brought out a procession and started vandalising shops. They also hurled a petrol bomb at an armoured personnel carrier of police.
In Patuakhali town, at least 50 people, including five policemen, were injured when opposition activists clashed with law enforcers around 9:30am.
There were reports of clashes, vandalism and explosions of homemade bombs from Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Rajshahi, Narayanganj, Feni, Jamalpur, Madaripur, Bogra, Rangpur, Barisal and Noakhali.
The opposition will hold gayebana janazas, funeral prayers in absence of bodies, across the country today and threatened to go for even “tougher agitation” programmes if anything “unexpected” happened centring the janaza.
People could have some respite from the violence during the weekend but more hartal or blockade was likely in the coming week, according to sources in the opposition.