Shibir, BNP too in it
It was not only the activists of Hefajat-e Islam and villagers, but many Jamaat-Shibir men also played a significant role during Monday's mayhem in Narayanganj, claim police and witnesses.
The death toll from the fierce clash rose to 22 after injured border guard Lavlu Miah, 38, and bullet-injured Md Sumon, 22, had died yesterday. Sumon was a student of Dhaka City College.
"I saw about 15 to 20 local Jamaat-Shibir activists and others intensely engaged in fights with law enforcers near Kuwait Market at Shimrail since the morning," said an automobile mechanic, who works at a nearby workshop.
Superintendent of Narayanganj police Syed Nurul Islam yesterday said BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami men had been involved in the attacks on law enforcers and Kanchpur Highway Police Station.
He said they would file a number of cases in this connection.
The fierce clash erupted in at least 10 points of the three-kilometre stretch of Dhaka-Chittagong highway, from Signboard area to Kanchpur bridge, after Hefajat men had been driven away from their rally in the capital's Motijheel area at the small hours on Monday.
Locals said the villagers had joined the mayhem following a call for help on a loudspeaker from Madaninagar Madrasa that said, "Save us, save the madrasa."
However, the victims of Monday's clash were neither any teacher nor any student of Madaninagar Madrasa.
Monir Hossain, uncle of Osman Goni Badhan who died in the clash, said had the announcement not been made, such huge number of casualty would not have taken place.
Badhan's father Kaikobad yesterday told The Daily Star that his son had gone to a shop near the clash area to recharge his mobile phone.
He said his college-going elder daughter had died in a road crash on May 6, 2006, the same day his son died seven years later, trying to save her brother Omar Faruk, 11, who is now a student of a local madrasa.
During a visit to Sanarpar, Nimai Kashari, Madaninagar and Shimrail yesterday it was found that locals were still in panic and most of the shops of those areas were closed.
Locals said driven away from Motijheel, Hefajat and Jamaat-Shibir men had gathered at local madrasas in Siddhirganj of Narayanganj and immediately blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.
Around 6:00am, they clashed with law enforcers and started vandalising vehicles, highway police station and outpost, and roadside business establishments.
The situation turned worse around 7:00am when the unruly activists had sought help from locals through the announcement and the villagers joined them.
The clash lasted for around seven hours.
The locals had joined the clash because a large number of around 2,000 Madaninagar Madrasa students come from families living in nearby areas. The villagers had come out to save their children and the madrasa, said locals.
Some students of Madaninagar Madrasa said more than 1,000 madrasa students had come to their madrasa from different districts, including Chittagong, Comilla and Noakhali, to join Hefajat's Dhaka siege programme.
The outsides had returned to Madaninagar Madrasa after being driven away from Shapla Chattar early Monday, they added.