At least 50 persons were injured in clashes between Awami League men and Hefazat-e-Islam supporters in Kishoreganj on Sunday. Hefazat men allegedly attacked the Awami League office amidst the general strike called by the religious groups.
District Awami League organising secretary Aminul Islam, district unit president of Bangladesh Chhatra League Anwar Hossain, general secretary Foyez Oman and Hefazat leader Mawlana KM Nazimuddin were among the injured.
Witnesses and police sources said several hundred hartal supporters including Hefazat men launched the attack on AL’s district unit office at Station Road at around 12:30pm. They vandalised and set afire signboard and furniture of the office. Some leaders and activists of Awami League rushed to the spot after 15-20 minutes and hold a protest rally there.
Awami League and Hefazat activists locked in clashes again and again in Gourangabazar, Shahidi Masjid premises, Puran thana, Ekrampur, AL office and Atharobari Kachari Morh areas from 12 in the noon to 2:30pm.
Police shot tear gas shells, blank fire and rubber bullets to quell the situation.
Kishoreganj ulema parishad president and Hefazat leader Maulana Shafiqur Rahman Jalalabadi said they wanted to observe the hartal peacefully.
He said that during the clashes he urged the Hefazat men and others over the loudspeaker of Shahidi Mosque to go back to work.
Kishoreganj AL secretary general MA Afzal said the militants have carried out a heinous attack on the party office and set it on fire.
Superintendent of police Md Mashrukur Rahman said a huge number of police, BGB and RAB members have been deployed to bring the situation under control.
He said the presence of a large number of police helped to prevent further damage.
Stringent measures would be taken for vandalism of Awami League office and other areas and those who are responsible for the situation would be brought to book, the SP added.