Jamaat calls half-day hartal in Comilla for Tuesday
TWO people were killed in Dhaka and Comilla Monday as Jamaat-Shibir activists took to the streets and clashed with law enforcers to enforce a countrywide hartal (shutdown).
Jamaat claimed the Comilla victim was its activist while the details about the Dhaka victim, aged 32, could not be known immediately.
Office-goers defied the hartal, buses plied on the streets and many schools remained open as people responded positively to Shahbagh protesters’ call for boycotting hartal.
Excepting for a few stray incidents, the dawn-to-dusk shutdown passed off almost peacefully.
Jamaat called the hartal to protest the deaths of three persons it claimed to be Jamaat activists in Cox’s Bazar on Friday.
A man was killed and two received injuries as a bus overturned in a bid to avert attacks when chased by pickets at Madhya Badda in the capital during hartal hours Monday morning.
Talking to The Daily Star, Iqbal Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Badda Police Station, said two people were injured when a bus carrying them turned turtle at 7:30am as pro-hartal activists chased the vehicle.
The driver of the bus tried to speed away to avert any attacks.
At one stage, he lost control over the steering and the bus tumbled, the OC added.
One of the injured, aged about 32, succumbed to his injuries on way to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Bangla daily Prothom Alo reported quoting hospital sources.
A man died and two sustained bullet wounds as police opened fire on Jamaat-Shibir men when the latter attacked them in Chouddagram upazila of Comilla during the hartal hours.
The deceased was identified as Ibrahim, 22, of Anandapur village.
The incident took place when the marauding activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked a patrolling police van in Amzader Bazar area around 10:45am, our correspondent from Chouddagram reported quoting Muzammel Hossain, officer-in-charge of Chouddagram Police Station.
Police had to open fire on the pro-hartal activists to resist the Shibir men that left three people wounded, the OC claimed.
Witnesses however put the number of injured at seven.
Chouddagram Upazila Jamaat Ameer (president) Shahabuddin claimed the deceased was their activist.
The injured have been identified as Naimul Islam Murad, 23, of Ludibhanga village and Enayet Hossain, 18, of Durgapur village in the upazila.
According to the police official, Ibrahim succumbed to his injuries after he along with two other injured were rushed to Chouddagram Upazila Health Complex.
The OC said the pickets vandalised several vehicles and torched a CNG-run Auto-rickshaw in the area before clashing with the law enforcers.
Local Jamaat leaders claimed at least seven to eight activists received bullet wounds during the police firing.
To protest Ibrahim’s death, Jamaat later called a half-day hartal in Comilla for Tuesday.
An elderly man died when pro-hartal activists vandalised an ambulance in Ramu upazila of southeastern district of Cox’s Bazar during hartal hours on Monday.
The deceased Hafiz Abdur Rahman, 60, hailed from Unchiprang area of Teknaf, reports our Cox’s Bazar correspondent.
Zakir Hossain, driver of the ambulance, said his vehicle came under attack at 11:00am when the patient, who had a cardiac arrest, was heading for Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital.
As the ambulance reached near Cheinda area of Ramu upazila, a group of Shibir activists barricaded the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf road and vandalised several vehicles, including the ambulance, he said.
As the ambulance failed to move ahead for half an hour, the patient died there.
When rushed to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital later, doctors declared him dead, Pranab Chakma, said the on-duty police officer at the hospital.
Picketers set fire to three buses in separate areas of Gazipur Sadar upazila during the countrywide Jamaat-called hartal on Monday.
Pro-hartal activists set a BRTC bus ablaze on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Bason area of the upazila.
Police arrested five Shibir activists, including Saiful Islam, 25, in connection with the incident.
Md Hasanuzzaman, a sub-inspector of Joydebpur Police Station, was closed for negligence of duty during the arson.
Meanwhile, picketers also set fire to two other buses—one on the Chandana-Gazipur road while the other on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway.