A number of offices and houses were vandalised and set on fire by locals in Faridpur’s Saltha Upazila on Monday night after a man was injured in an apparently unprovoked attack by a public servant.
The Upazila Parishad, residence of Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), police station, office of Assistant Commissioner (land), upazila agriculture office, and sub-registry office, among others, were vandalised and some of them were torched.
Vehicles of Saltha UNO and the AC Land were also set on fire, said Upazila Parishad Chairman Wadud Matubbor.
Additional law enforcement units from Faridpur brought the situation under control.
How it started
Monday was the first day of a weeklong countrywide lockdown to contain the transmission of Covid-19. AC Land Marufa Sultana Khan Hiramoni went Fukra Bazar in Sonapur Union with a team to monitor the government-enforced lockdown.
Md Zakir Hossain Molla was returning home from Fukra Bazar around 7:30pm.
Zakir said a man got down from the AC Land’s vehicle and hit him with a stick that broke his spine.
He is being treated at the upazila hospital.
The incident sparked tension at Fukra Bazar and villagers soon gathered there. They attacked a police team led by sub-inspector Mizanur Rahman which had gone there to defuse the tension.
Agitated locals then headed towards the police station and took position around it.
Saltha Police Station’s officer-in-charge (OC) Ashikuzzaman said they sent a team to Fukra Bazar after getting a call from the AC Land. “The team was attacked after reaching the spot. SI Mizanur was hit in the head,” he said.
Nurul Islam Nahid was at the Uapzila Parishad when it was attacked.
“I couldn’t see a thing because of the smoke,” he recounted. “I jumped from the second floor and escaped through the backdoor.”
He said it was an “unprecedented violence” in Saltha.
‘Misunderstanding to blame’
Faridpur’s police chief Md Alimuzzaman said there was a “misunderstanding” between the officials, who were enforcing the government’s directive during the lockdown, and the locals.
The agitated locals vandalised and set fire to various establishments including the Upazila Parishad office, police station and the upazila chairman’s residence.
“Police fired teargas canisters and rubber bullets to protect public property and brought the situation under control.
AC Land Hiramoni could not be reached for comments.