Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013

Stray incidents of violence mark Shibir enforced hartal

The daylong shutdown enforced by Jamaat’s student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir in 16 northern districts ended amid stray incidents of violence yesterday, according to our correspondents.
Shibir called the hartal in Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat,
Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts under Rangpur division; and Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj, Natore, Sirajganj, Pabna, Bogra and Joypurhat under Rajshahi division demanding immediate release of its central President Delwar Hossain, who was arrested in the capital on Sunday.
However, the ongoing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations remained out of the purview of the shutdown.
Pro-hartal activists torched eight vehicles and vandalised five others in Rangpur, Pabna and Sirajganj and removed clips from rail tracks in Bogra. At least 50 Shibir activists were picked up from Rangpur, Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj during hartal hours.
Most of the business establishments remained shut while vehicles, barring rickshaws and
battery-run auto-rickshaws, were off the roads.
In Rangpur, Jamaat-Shibir activists torched two trucks and four battery-run auto-rickshaws on Dhaka-Rangpur highway in Mithapukur upazila at around 6:00am. They also set fire to three CNG-run auto-rickshaws in Pirgachha upazila in the morning.
Law enforcers in an overnight drive on Tuesday arrested nine Shibir men from different areas of the city.
In Bogra, Shibir men removed 998 clips from railway tracks between Bogra and Kahaloo station early yesterday, disrupting rail communications between Bogra and Lalmonirhat for an hour.
Being informed by locals, staff rushed to the spot and repaired the tracks at around 5:00am, said Hamidul Haque, in-charge of Bogra Railway Police.
Law enforcers foiled a bid of hartal supporters to vandalise vehicles in Silimpur area near Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital at around 7:00am. They fired rubber bullets to disperse the pickets from there.

In Pabna, at least 10 people, including four policemen, were injured during a clash between police and Shibir activists in Doi Bazar area of the town in the morning. Shibir took out a procession on Abdul Hamid Road at around 10:30am and vandalised five vehicles. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the pickets and arrested Shibir Pabna town unit leader Abdul Wadud and four others from the spot.
Later, police arrested three more Jamaat-Shibir men in the town. The arrestees are Golam Mostafa, 25, office secretary of Pabna town unit, Md Al Amin, 20, member of the unit and Md Abul Kalam, 45, general secretary of Jamaat  ward No 5 unit.
In Sirajganj, Pickets set fire to a truck near Bangabandhu Bridge and vandalised two others in the district during hartal hours yesterday.

Md Rafikul Islam, officer-in-charge of Sirajganj Police Station told this correspondent that pickets set the truch afire fire in Konabari area of Dhaka-Sirajganj highway at around 11:00am. Shibir men also vandalised two motorcycles in Ullapara upazila.
In Chapainawabganj, Shibir activists brought out a procession in Rehaichar area in the town at around 10:30am and blasted several cocktails. Shops remained closed while vehicles, except rickshaws and battery-run auto-rickshaws were off the roads.
In Naogaon, Jamaat-Shibir activists took out a procession in Kathaltali area in the town at around 8:00am. Police picked up two pickets from the area, said Mozammel Haque, officer-in-charge of Sadar Police Station.

In Rajshahi, Jammat-Shibir activists blocked traffic at Baliamor intersection in Syampukur area by felling trees in the morning. Locals later removed the trees from the road. Shibir activists burnt tyres at Hadi intersection in the city and at Kajla near Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology at around 12:15pm.