At least eight people were killed in violence in Lalmonirhat, Joypurhat and Laxmipur districts today during a dawn-to-dusk countrywide hartal called by Jamaat-e-Islami.
Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir stabbed dead an Awami League man hours after three Shibir men were killed in clash with law enforcers in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat today.
Sporadic clashes were reported from different parts of the district as angry Jamaat-Shibir activists ran rampage following the three deaths.
The violence began around 7:30am, shortly after Jamaat enforced a countrywide shutdown to protest the execution of its assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah Thursday night.
Journalists could not reach the spot till 2:00pm as the Shibir men blocked the main road to the Patgram felling trees at Baura, 12 kilometres off the spot.
They were also not letting any vehicle pass, our correspondent reported.
The clash began at Kafirbazar when Jamaat-Shibir men engaged in a gunfight with police, which later spread to the entire district within a couple of hours.
Kafirbazar is the village home of Anwarul Islam Raju, a brother-in-law of war crimes convict Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed.
Raju is a central executive committee member of Jamaat, and also a Rokon (full-member) of the district, our correspondent added.
Ten people of minority community were also injured when Jamaat-Shibir activists attacked a village of Hindus and vandalised their seven houses in Kafirbazar, the centre point of the clash, and subsequently set those on fire.
The marauding party men also set fire to the houses of two local leaders of the Jatiya Party there.
Two platoons of BGB were deployed in the upazila following the Jamaat-Shibir mayhem.
The dead Shibir activists were identified as Manirul Islam, 28, president of Patgram upazila Shibir unit; Abdur Rahim, 30, and Saju Islam, 24, while the AL man as Mintu Islam, 33.
The gunfight erupted in Kafirbazar when the Jamaat-Shibir men attacked police who were removing logs from Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway, said Sohrab Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Patgram Police Station.
The party men put the logs on the highway in support of their hartal in the morning.
As police tried to resist the Jamaat-Shibir men, they cordoned off the law enforcers and hurled four crude bombs towards them and also spread bullets, said Aslam Khan, additional superintendent of police in Lalmonirhat.
At one stage, in self-defence, the law enforcers had to retaliate with fire, prompting the gunfight, Khan added.
Monirul and Abdur died on the spot while seven other bullet-hit Shibir men were admitted to the health complex. Later, Saju succumbed to his injuries at the health complex.
To take revenge, the Shibir men stormed into the house of local AL activist Mintu around 1:30am and dragged him out of his Kafirbazar residence.
They stabbed and beat him to dead, the OC said.
Ruhul Amin, AL general secretary of the upazila unit, identified Mintu as one of the activists of his party.
Meanwhile, the Jamaat-Shibir men torched at least nine houses–seven of Hindu community and two of local JP leaders– in the upazila around 11:10am.
The two JP leaders are Bulu Islam, joint secretary of Patgram upazila unit, and Moshiur Rahman, a union-level leader.
As time passes, the clash spread over Bawra, courttoli, burimari and Sarkarrerhat areas of Patgram; Paruliya, Baraghata and Sindurna locality of Hatibandha; Bhotmari, Tushbhandar and Kakina points in Kaliganj; Saptibari spot in Aditmari upazila and Shimultola and Selimnagar area of Lalmonirhat Sadar.
Three Jamaat activists were killed and six others received bullet wounds when police opened fire during a clash with Jamaat-Shibir men in Joypurhat this afternoon.
Firoz Hossain, 30, a rickshaw-puller, died on the spot, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.
Jamaat claimed Firoz as their activist.
Insan Ali, 22, succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital, while, Shamim Hossain, 25, died at the Joypurhat Sadar Hospital, said duty-doctor Sayedur Rahman.
The clashed ensued around 4:30pm when several hundreds of Jamaat-Shibir men took position on the street in support of their today’s countrywide hartal.
Both of the deceased were Shibir activists.
Section 144 has been imposed in the district from 5:00pm today to 6:00am tomorrow confirmed Mohammad Yasin, Deputy Commissioner of Joypurhat.
Miscreants hacked to death the Laxmipur district organising secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in Raipur upazila of Laxmipur this afternoon.
Miraj Hossain, 28, died on the spot, Rupok Kumar Saha, officer-in-charge of Raipur Police Station, told our Laxmipur correspondent.
Local said a group of miscreants hacked Miraj at Udhuya Bazar around 5:00pm and left the place after confirming his death.
Shaikh Jamal Ripon, president of district unit of BCL, student wing of the ruling Awami League, accused Shibir activists of the murder.
Yesterday another Awami League activist was killed in Kanaighat upazila around midnight.
He was identified as Nazrul Islam, 35 of village Doloimati.
Local sources informed Nazrul was returning home after attending a procession and rally held at the upazila town at 10pm protesting the countrywide ‘anarchic situation’ by Jamaat-Shibir men.