Vol. 5 Num 471 Thu. September 22, 2005  
Front Page

50 hurt in clashes during hartal

At least 50 people, including an Awami League (AL) lawmaker and two journalists, were injured in clashes involving the police, pickets and ruling BNP activists in Dhaka and Khulna during yesterday's dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced by the AL-led 14-party alliance.

The 14 opposition parties called the shutdown across the country demanding withdrawal of increased fuel price, and protesting the August 17 serial bomb blasts and the government's alleged patronage of the Islamist militants.

The police cordoned off Bangabandhu Avenue, Russell Square and its surrounding areas from morning till evening and restricted the opposition leaders and activists from picketing and bringing out any processions from there.

Educational institutions, large shopping malls, and markets and shops located beside main roads in the city remained closed.

Almost all modes of vehicles except some public transports remained off the streets. But the rickshaws plied on the city streets as usual.

Launches, trains and flights operated during hartal hours.

Police charged baton on a procession of Workers Party at city's Paltan crossing and picked up seven activists early in the morning.

At least 26 Awami Jubo Mahila League leaders and workers received injuries when police charged baton to disperse their procession in Dhanmondi Road No 5 area.

Jubo Mahila League activists also attacked police to snatch away their arrested colleagues.

The daily Samakal photojournalist Kajol received severe injuries in his head while the Jubo Mahila League activists hurled stones aiming at the police. Police picked up six activists from there.

Police intercepted a procession of Awami Mahila League when it reached Mirpur-10 intersection at 10:30am.

Ten activists including local commissioner Shahida Aktar Dipti were severely injured when police clubbed the procession to disperse the AL activists.

Channel-I reporter Mahbub Matin was also injured in the police attack. Police later picked up several people including some female activists from the spot.

Police also charged baton to disperse another procession of Mahila League in the Green Road area when it tried to proceed towards Russell Square, leaving at least eight women injured. Police picked up four Mahila League activists including its General Secretary Fazilatun Nesa Indira.

A group of AL leaders including some lawmakers brought out a procession and staged sit-in-demonstration near Dhanmondi Road No-32 during hartal hours.

Police intercepted a procession of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) when it tried to go out through the main entrance of the Arts Faculty of Dhaka University.

Police also dispersed another pro-hartal procession led by AL leader Haji Selim in the old part of the city. Several activists were wounded in police action while four activists were picked up from the spot.

Our Staff Correspondent reports from Khulna: AL lawmaker Panchanon Biswas and five other people were injured in a clash between the activists of AL and BNP at Batiaghata of the district during yesterday's hartal.

The clash ensued when BNP activists attacked an AL procession led by Biswas at around 11:15am near Batiaghata bazaar, witnesses said.

The five other injured are Kamrul Islam Shiper, Shumon Molla, Nazrul Islam and Alok Mallick of BNP and AL leader Mithun Roy.

AL blamed BNP for the attack on the procession while BNP accused AL of creating lawlessness in the name of picketing during hartal.

However, the hartal passed off peacefully in Khulna city and in other parts of the district.

Police drag a Jubo Mahila League member to their prison van during the hartal hours in Dhanmondi in the capital yesterday. PHOTO: STAR