In the face of exhortation by newly emerging Islamist outfit Hefazat-e Islam, police yesterday released all 40 madrasa students who were arrested Wednesday on charge of clashing with law enforcers in Chittagong.
The release came in sequel to a late night negotiation on Wednesday between madrasa teachers and senior police officials, said sources present during the negotiation.
Additional Superintendent of Police Amena Begum said madrasa authorities contacted police for the negotiation.
However, Hefazat-e Islam leader Musa Izhar claimed that police released the students after they had threatened police with a tougher movement.
Meanwhile, police recovered a service rifle yesterday afternoon. The madrasa students allegedly snatched it Wednesday evening near Hathazari madrasa.
Vehicular movement on Chittagong-Hathazari highway became normal when the agitating madrasa students moved their barricade around 9:00pm, just before the madrasa authorities sat in the meeting with police.
Superintendent of Police Md ZA Morshed, Ameer of Hefazat-e Islam and Director General (Mohtamim) of Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrasa Ahmad Shafi, a number of madrasa teachers and senior police officials were present at the meeting.
Senior leaders of Hefazat-e Islam gathered in a meeting at Hathazari Moinul Islam Madrasa yesterday evening to chalk out their next programme. Chaired by the outfit's Ameer Ahmed Shafi, the meeting was also attended by the organisation's Nayebe Ameer and Chief of Lalkhan Bazar Madrasa Mufti Izharul Islam.
Contacted over telephone, the outfit's leader Musa Izhar, younger son of Mufti Izhar, yesterday told The Daily Star that they were still in the meeting discussing their next course of action.
"We could not hold the rally at Laldighi Maidan due to police hindrance. We shall try to hold a protest rally at divisional level soon," he said.
In Wednesday's clash 19 people including six policemen were injured as police barred Hefazat-e Islam activists from holding a rally at Laldighi Maidan.