Violence spreads

Two killed, many injured: Miscreants hurl petrol bombs, torch covered vans: Attack on minorities in Panchagarh

At least two persons were killed and several others injured in incidents of violence in Feni, Sirajganj, Rajshahi and Chittagong on Tuesday.  
In Feni, driver of a covered van died and another suffered burn injuries as miscreants torched the covered-van with cocktail at Jatrashiddhi at Feni-bypass on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in the early hours of Tuesday
The driver was identified as Shah Alam (35) who died after he jumped from the van with fire on his body while Al Amin, a staff of the covered van suffered from body burns. Al Amin was admitted to Feni Sadar Hospital with critical burns injuries. No one could be held in this connection.
Shah Alam is the son of Shamsul Hoque of Comilla Sadar upazila. Helper Al Amin was unconscious till the time of filing report.
One unidentified driver of a goods truck was killed at Pachulia, Sirajganj near Bangabandhu Bridge on Tuesday evening. Three others were injured in the incident who were sent to Sirajganj sadar hospital. They were all victims of petrol bomb attack. The Sirajganj police confirmed the incident.
In Chittagong, activists of the BNP-led 18-party alliance hurled crude bombs targeting police at Askardighirpar in the city during the second day of the opposition’s 48-hour countrywide shutdown on Tuesday.
Witnesses said a group of opposition activists brought out a procession from Kazirdewri Bazar area of the port city around 10am in support of ongoing hartal.
Two crude bombs were hurled from the procession at a police van when the procession was obstructed by the law enforcers at Askardighirpar. No one was injured in the blast.
Later, police arrested six people from Kazirdewri area on suspicion of their involvement in picketing,said Nizamuddin, officer-in-Charge of Kotwali Police Station. Meanwhile, Jamaat-Shibir men brought out a procession at Bakolia around 1am and blasted three bombs.
Five activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League were injured in an attack by Islami Chhatra Shibir cadres in Cox’s Bazar.
The Shibir activists attacked a freshers’ reception at the Polytechnic Institute organised by Chhatra League on Tuesday.
Chhatra League activists were welcoming the first year students to the campus around 10am. The Shibir cadres pounced on the Chhatra League activists with weapons. said Borhan Uddin, general secretary of Polytechnic Institute Chhatra League unit.
When police rushed to the spot the attackers fled, he said. The reception was foiled by the attack. Cox’s Bazar Police Station OC Jasim Uddin said action would be taken against those responsible. Miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at the residence of a local Jubo League leader at Tamai village in Belkuchi upazila in Sirajganj early Tuesday.
The miscreants tossed the bomb at the house of Alam, a local Jubo League leader, before dawn and fled the scene. A fire broke out at the house after the blast. Miscreants severed the tendons of both the legs of a madrasah principal at Gulishakhali village in Moralganj upazila in Bagerhat on Tuesday. The victim was identified as Maulana Abdul Bari, 58, the principal of Gulishakhali Fajil Madrasah and a resident of Gulishakhali village. About a dozen of miscreants, believed to be pro-government Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jubo League, swooped on the office of the principal at noon and beat him mercilessly.
In his desperate attempt to save himself, Abdul Bari started running and took shelter in a nearby house. However, the criminals attacked him chasing and cut off the tendons of both the legs. They also stabbed three people, including two women, as they came for the rescue of the madrasah teacher, leaving them injured. Badly injured Abdul Bari was first whisked off to Mongla Upazila Health Complex and then shifted to Khulna Medical College Hospital in a critical condition.
Sharif Mohammad Abdus Salam, chairman of Nishanbaria union parishad, said the miscreants might have attacked him over the 10th general election held on January 5 as he is involved in Jamaat politics.
Azizul Haque, officer-in-charge of Moralganj Police Station, said no one was arrested in this connection.
In Rajshahi, pickets blasted four crude bombs in Rajshahi city on Tuesday. BNP activists blasted two bombs in Laxmipur area around 9:30am, reports our Rajshahi correspondent quoting Ziaur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Boalia Police Station.
Earlier around 7:30am, activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, exploded two crude bombs in front of Rajshahi GPO, he said. Meanwhile, police fired 20 gunshots in the air to disperse the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal men, who brought out a procession at Shashthitola around 8:00am. A total of about 531 educational institutions were damaged in polls related violence across the country till January 5, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said.
Of the institutions, 419 are primary schools, 82 high schools, 21 madrasas and nine others are colleges, he told the media.
Meanwhile, some unidentified miscreants vandalized dwelling houses and also some shops of members Hindu communities in some villages in the districts of Gaibandha and Panchagar on Tuesday.
Zahurul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Gaibandha when contacted from Dhaka told The New Nation that reports of burning of a Hindu temple as appeared in a section of the press was not true. The incident was over a trifling matter when a football hit a temple and blasted. Some boys who were playing football however, set on fire to a haystack in the area which was described as arson on dwellings.
Seven vehicles, he said, were set on fire in Gaibandha which was highly exaggerated by some media. Six hundred troops of the army, he said, were in the district besides members of other law enforcing agencies. Superintendent of Police (SP) of Gaibandha told The New Nation that a few shops were vandalized at Beradanga under Sadar upazila of Gaibandha on Tuesday. The total damage involving the incident, the SP said, would not be worth more than Tk. 10,000. He said those responsible for the incident could not be identified.
Superintendent of Police (SP) of Panchagarh M. Abul Kalam Azad told The New Nation that no incident of attack on members of Hindu communities occurred in Panchagarh. The report of such incident, he said, was nothing but a media creation. He described it just a rumour. TIB has condemned the incident of such attack.
Meanwhile, BNP chairperson has asked her party men to remain vocal against any incident of attack on members of minority communities. Begum Selima Rahman said it at a press conference on behalf of her party chief on Tuesday. Begum Zia, she said, also urged the people to remain on guard against any act of such repression on members of minority communities.
Syed Ashraful Islam, general secretary of Awami League urged the progressive forces of the country to help resist any attempt of repression on members of minority communities.