BNP’s Nationwide Programmes: Over 100 hurt in AL-BNP clashes
Over 100 people, including 13 police personnel, were injured as activists of Awami League and BNP clashed in Netrakona, Patuakhali, Magura, Gaibandha and Bogura yesterday.
BNP leaders alleged they were obstructed by AL activists and police from holding their party's founding anniversary programmes.
In Netrakona's Kalmakanda, 50 people, including four police personnel, were wounded.
Locals said BNP activists started gathering in front of their party office in Paschim Marcas area around noon. Around the same time, AL men took out a procession in the same area and attempted to stop BNP activists from joining their programme, which led to a clash.
MA Khair, convener of Kalmakanda upazila BNP, said, "Awami League men attacked us, and police opened fire on our procession, leaving 20 activists injured."
Abul Kalam, officer-in-charge of Kalmakanda Police Station, said, "BNP activists were causing chaos by torching tyres, prompting police to intervene. They threw brick chunks at police, injuring four police personnel."
In Patuakhali, 13 people, including three police personnel, were injured in Dashmina upazila.
Shah Alam Shanu, general secretary of Dashmina upazila BNP, said, "Police attacked our procession at Pujakhala without any provocation, leaving 10 activists wounded."
Morshed Toha, assistant superintendent of police (Galachipa circle), said BNP supporters blocked a key road in the upazila, causing suffering to people.
When police tried to convince them to leave the road, they started throwing brick chunks, prompting cops to retaliate, he added.
In Magura, at least six police personnel were hurt in a clash with BNP men in Mohammadpur upazila.
Moimur Mrida, convener of Mohammadpur upazila BNP, denied the allegation of attacking police saying that at least 10 of their party activists were injured in a police attack.
Borhan Ul Islam, OC of Mohammadpur Police Station, said BNP activists vandalised their vehicle, triggering police to "retaliate in self-defence".
In Bhola, BNP leaders accused AL men of attacking their peaceful rally in presence of police in Borhanuddin upazila.
Sarwar Alam, joint secretary of Borhanuddin upazila BNP, brought the allegation at a press conference.
Monir Hossain Mia, OC of Borhanuddin Police Station, told The Daily Star that activists of BNP and AL brought out processions at the same time. Police had to disperse them as tension ran high when the processions came close to each other at the intersection near the police station.
A chase and counter-chase took place between the activists of BNP and AL in Bogura's Nandigram upazila, leaving seven people injured.
Alauddin Sarkar, president of Nandigram upazila BNP, told this newspaper that AL men, led by its leader Anwar Hossain Rana, attacked their programme at their temporary party office near Nandigram Filling Station.
He said their seven activists were wounded in the attack.
Denying the allegation, Anwar claimed that BNP men threw brick chips at them when their peace rally was passing by the BNP office. Their two party activists were injured.
On the other hand, traffic came to a halt in Park Road area of Gaibandha town following a clash between BNP men and police .
Mahmudun Nabi Tutul, general secretary of Gaibandha BNP, said their 20 activists were injured in the attack and police detained four party leaders.
Police attacked their rally without any provocation, he alleged.
Masud Rana, OC of Gaibandha Sadar Police Station, told this paper that BNP men tried to vandalise some shops. Police brought the situation under control by firing teargas shells and detaining two.
[Our correspondents from Mymensingh, Bogura, Barishal, Jhenaidah and Patuakhali contributed to this report]