Staff Correspondent: At least three people died amid sporadic clashes, arson attacks and arrests marking the nationwide general strike on Sunday with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announcing fresh protest plans from October 31.
The BNP enforced the daylong general strike on Sunday, a day after its supporters clashed with security officials in Dhaka during a massive anti-government rally that turned violent, forcing the party to abruptly end the rally.
A Sramik League leader was killed in Lalmonirhat, a BNP leader died in the capital’s Mohammadpur area and a bus helper died in Dhaka’s Demra on Sunday during the strike as the traffic in Dhaka was thin.
More than 100 people were injured in separate clashes in Narayanganj and Bogura districts on Sunday, our correspondents reported.
In Dhaka, a 22-year-old assistant of a bus driver, identified as Md Naim, was burned to death after the Asim Paribahan bus was set on fire by miscreants in Dhaka’s Demra area around 3 am while he was asleep, said Demra Police Station Sub-Inspector (SI) Saidur Rahman.
Separately, a 35-year-old BNP leader, who tried to set a bus on fire, died after falling off a building while fleeing in Dhaka’s Mohammadpur area during the strike in the afternoon.
The deceased was identified as Abdur Rashid, local government affairs secretary of Adabor ward 30 unit of BNP.
In Lalmonirhat, an activist of Sramik League, identified as Jahangir Hossain, 50, was allegedly killed in an attack by the BNP people during the strike at Mahendranagar in Sadar upazila.
The leaders and activists were seen picketing in support of hartals in different parts of Dhaka city including Moghbazar, Shantinagar, Badda, Rampura, Purana Paltan, Mohammadpur, Jatrabari and Gulshan Link Road.
Our correspondents reported that the hartal supporters were engaged in clashes, vandalism and arson attacks in different districts, leaving many people injured.
Six vehicles were torched in different parts of the capital, and in Magura, Manikganj and Gazipur districts during the shutdown.
Miscreants set the local BNP offices on fire at Boikali in Khulna city and in Lalmonirhat district while BNP-Jamaat activists vandalised a car of Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Itna upazila under Kishoreganj district.
At least 42 vehicles including three BRTC buses were vandalised in the capital’s Uttara and in Bogura town and Sylhet city during the shutdown.
Many law enforcers from police, RAB and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were deployed at important points across Dhaka to tackle any untoward incident.
The activists of the ruling Awami League and its associate bodies including Jubo League and Chhatra League were seen on the streets with party banners alongside the law enforcers.
Police arrested over 200 people from different places of the country, including Dhaka, Sylhet, Dinajpur, Nrayanganj, Feni, Bhola, Benapole and Chuadanga districts, UNB correspondents reported.
Also 7-8 crude bombs were exploded in Galapotti of Bogura district town during a clash between the supporters of the BNP and the Awami League.
At least 70 people were injured as the leaders and activists of the BNP and police locked into clashes during the hartal at Araihazar and the Press Club areas in Narayanganj on Sunday.
In support of BNP’s hartal, the leaders and activists of Araihazar Upazila BNP and its associate bodies led by BNP International Affairs Assistant Secretary Nazrul Islam Azad, brought out a procession on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway in the morning.
When they took position in the Panchrukhi area of Dhaka-Sylhet highway and blocked the road by burning tyres, police charged with batons to disperse them, triggering the clash.
In Bogura, 45 people were injured while a child sustained bullet injuries during a clash between police and the BNP supporters during the shutdown.
Witnesses said police obstructed a procession brought out by the BNP at Nababbari Road in the district town at 8 am. Police fired tear gas to disperse them.
At least five people including district unit Chhatra Dal President Saidul Islam sustained bullet injuries during the clash.
Meanwhile, a clash was locked between the BNP and the Awami League activists at Galapotti area where 4-5 crude bombs were exploded.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, leaving 10-15 people injured.
Clashes were also reported from other parts of the district.
Police also arrested 32 leaders and activists from different parts of the district.
On Saturday, two people, including a police constable, were killed and several hundred others injured in violent clashes between law enforcers and opposition activists in Dhaka.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced a day-long nationwide shutdown for Sunday before suspending the rally.
On Sunday evening, the BNP announced a three-day blockade programme to be enforced from October 31 across the country.
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