Yet again, police have become victims of brutal attacks.
During the hartal yesterday, opposition activists unleashed violence, injuring three cops of Bagharpara Police Station in the district.
Assistant Sub-Inspector Haidar Ali, who suffered critical head injuries, was flown to Combined Military Hospital in the capital by a Rab helicopter. His condition had deteriorated at Jessore Medical College Hospital.
His injured colleagues — Officer-in-Charge Ramprasad Bhakta and Sub-Inspector Mafizur Rahman — were undergoing treatment at JMCH.
Two BNP activists and a female passerby were also injured in a nearly 30-minute clash that ensued around 10:30am after the attack on the cops, said SI Jahangir of the police station.
Since February 28, when a war crimes tribunal handed down the death sentence to Delawar Hossain Sayedee, eight policemen have been killed and nearly 300 injured in clashes with Jamaat-Shibir and BNP men.
SI Jahangir said a police team went to Bhatar Amtala Bazaar on Jessore-Magura highway, some 20km off Jessore town, yesterday morning.
The OC, accompanied by SI Mafiz and ASI Haider, went to talk to a group of pickets who had barricaded the road. They left behind the other members of the team and tried to negotiate with the activists on removing the barricade.
Suddenly, some BNP men started beating the officers with sticks and bricks. ASI Haider fell on the ground; the activists kept hitting him, particularly in the head.
“Then, we started charging batons and firing blank shots to disperse the opposition cadres,” Jahangir said.
Police fired eight rounds of rubber bullets, said Mustafa Kamal, assistant superintendent of police in Jessore.
Additional SP Subash Chandra Shaha said the BNP men had attacked police without any provocation.
Anwar Hossain, secretary of Bandabila union BNP, said Tito, a BNP activist, was accidentally injured by the OC. The incident made the locals angry and they beat up the policemen.
Another activist, Bablu, was also injured in police firing, he added.
Reba Khatun, a roadside hotelier of the bazar, who was injured when hit by rubber bullets, said police started firing as the BNP men beat them up with sticks.
The 36-hartal that began yesterday was called by the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance immediately after a Dhaka court on Sunday denied bail to seven top BNP leaders in seven cases.