20 police personnel injured in clashes with BNP, 90 arrested

Picketers created obstacle felling logs on the streets. Police and BNP leaders-activists took position opposite of each others on either sides of the logs.Dipu Malakar

As many as 20 police personnel including Mehedi Hasan, joint commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), have been injured in the clash with BNP.

Police clashed with BNP leaders-activists at several entrance points of the capital from morning till afternoon today, Saturday. As many as 90 BNP leaders-activists were arrested at the time.

Faruk Hossain, deputy commissioner of DMP’s media and public relations division told Prothom Alo that BNP supporters aimed an attack on police’s armored personnel carrier (APC) at Matuail in the morning. Mehedi Hasan was injured in that attack while two more sub-inspectors (SI) were injured in Matuail.

police fired tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.
Dipu Malakar
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Faruk Hossain said that till now 20 police personnel have been injured in BNP supporters’ attacks at different parts of Dhaka. The injured police personnel have been admitted to different hospitals including Rajarbag Police Lines and Mugda Medical College Hospital.

BNP held a grand rally at capital’s Naya Paltan area yesterday, Friday. From that rally, the party announced sit-in programme at the entrance points of Dhaka today, Saturday. Awami League affiliated organisations announced counter programmes against BNP’s sit-in programme.

After 11:00pm yesterday, Friday, DMP stated that both the parties have announced programmes today, Saturday without taking permission from the police.

DMP claims that BNP leaders-activists started gathering at the entrances of Dhaka city- Gabtoli, Abdullahpur, Dholaikhal, Uttara and Matuail, wielding sticks and rods since 11:00am on Saturday.

Police chase and detain some of the picketers.
Dipu Malakar
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At one point leaders and activists of the party took position on all the main streets, disrupting the vehicular movement. So, when the police went to remove them, they started throwing brickbats targeting the police and carried out an attack on the police vehicle.

DMP also claimed that BNP leaders-activists detonated cocktail bombs at different spots in the capital. At various spots they also vandalised and set fire to passenger vehicles. To bring the situation under control Police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullet rounds.

Around 10:30 in the morning, BNP leaders-activists gathered beside Khaleq Enterprise’s bus counter at Gabtoli under the leadership of Amanullah Aman, convener of Dhaka north city BNP. Police then obstructed them, when they tried to observe the sit-in programme.

Police picked up Amanullah Aman from the sit-in programme around 12:00pm and admitted him into the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases. He was transferred to a private hospital in the capital later.

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Earlier, leaders-activists of Awami League and its affiliated organisations constructed a stage at Gabtoli Hanif Balur Math area to take position there.

Around 11:00am, leaders-activists of the ruling party moved towards Gabtoli from Mazar gate area with a procession wielding sticks and rods. At one point, leaders-activists of BNP were chased from the procession.

Ruling party men at the time caught at least seven BNP leaders-activists and handed them over to police. Meanwhile, Chhatra Dal has alleged that central organising secretary of the organisation, Abu Afsan has been detained from Gabtoli.

In the meantime, police tried to scatter BNP leaders-activists from Dholaikhal area by chasing them around 11:30am today, Saturday. BNP leaders-activists retreated at first, but chased police in return later.

At one point of the clash between the two groups, BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy was injured. He was detained and brought to DMP’s Detective Branch (DB) office around 12:00pm and then released around 3:30pm.

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