Vol. 5 Num 1112 Tue. July 17, 2007  
Front Page

AL activists enraged

Amid the state of emergency leaders and activists of Awami League (AL) and its different front organisations staged demonstrations at different places across the country protesting the arrest of their party chief Sheikh Hasina yesterday.

Police fired from shotguns and swooped on a procession at Malitola and on English Road in the old part of the capital injuring at least 20 demonstrators.

The law enforcers also charged batons on processions in Khulna and Kishoreganj, injuring several others.

Three policemen were injured as the protesters pelted them with stones.

Agitating AL activists went berserk at different places and damaged vehicles.

During the demonstrations police arrested at least five leaders and activists of the AL and its front organisations.

Police were put on alert across the country including the capital after the arrest of Sheikh Hasina to prevent brining out of any procession and any untoward incident.

As Sheikh Hasina was produced before the Court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Dhaka, pro-AL lawyers gathered at the entrance and chanted slogans protesting her arrest.

Several hundred protesters joined a procession brought out by Mahila Awami League from Raishaheb Bazar area near the court at around 10:00am soon after the CMM's court sent Sheikh Hasina to jail.

As the procession reached Chitra Mahal, police intercepted but the demonstrators continued chanting slogans, prompting the law enforcers to charge baton.

Soon the demonstrators spread to English Road, Goal Nagar and Malitola areas and pelted the police with brickbats. Police opened fire, injuring seven AL activists.

Three of the injured -- Shahadat Hossain, Shafiqul Islam and Mohammad Liton -- were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). Four others took first aid from different clinics.

Police also arrested three female activists during the chaos.

Sazzad, a sub-inspector, Zamir, an assistant sub-inspector, and Razzak, a constable, were injured in the skirmish, police said.

The female activists who thronged the CMM court area hearing the news of Hasina's arrest were seen crying or chanting slogans protesting the arrest.

A bus was set on fire at Zero Point in the city last night.

It could not be known immediately how the bus caught fire around 8:15pm amid tight security.

Firefighters who rushed to the spot and doused the fire said two seats of the bus were burned. They, however, could not say whether anyone set the bus on fire or it originated from other sources.

Our DU correspondent adds: Some 20 to 25 leaders and activists of pro-AL Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) brought out a procession on Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday morning protesting the AL chief's arrest.

At around 8:40am, the demonstrators marched towards Suryasen Hall from the Arts Faculty Building where they had gathered since the dawn.

The BCL activists chanted slogans warning against any attempt to harm Hasina.

A good number of police personnel were deployed on the campus following the protest procession. Members of intelligence agencies were also put on alert.

Our Kishoreganj correspondent reports: Several leaders and workers of the AL and its front organisations were injured when police clubbed a procession of over a hundred people at Pakundia upazila headquarters in the district at around 1:00pm yesterday.

The procession was brought to protest the arrest of Hasina.

Police arrested Barudia union AL President Bazlur Rahman and former president of Pakundia upazila Chhatra League Azizul Haq Hiron.

Additional police forces were deployed to avert any untoward incident.

Our staff correspondent reports from Khulna: Several protest processions were brought out on Khulna Railway Station Road, Labon Chora, Cemetery Road, Dakbungalow Road, Court Road, Khulna MM City College, BIDC Road and Phulbari in the city.

Police charged batons to disperse the demonstrators on Khulna Railway Station Road at 9:30am.

The demonstrators chanted slogans demanding unconditional release of their party chief and tried to reach their party offices when the law enforcers intercepted.

Joint forces, Rab and police have been deployed as part of beefed up security measures in the city.

Our Mymensingh correspondent adds: Agitating youths damaged five vehicles near Mashkanda inter-district bus terminal yesterday noon while BCL activists brought out a procession on Phulbaria Degree College campus protesting the arrest of AL chief.

Police dispersed a procession of BCL at Poura Bazar in Sujanagar upazila, our Pabna correspondent adds.

BCL activists of Barisal Law College brought out a protest procession in the city in the afternoon, reports our Barisal correspondent.

Additional law enforcers have been deployed at different points in the city.

A correspondent in Gazipur reports: A group of people brought out a procession around 9:30pm on Azimuddin College Road protesting the arrest of Sheikh Hasina.