Five people were killed in Brahmanbaria district as Hefazat-e-Islam activists clashed with police and ruling party men on Saturday.
Four were killed on Cumilla-Sylhet highway in Nandanpur area of Brahmanbaria sadar at around 5:00pm. A madrasa student died in separate clashes between madrasa students and ruling party student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at the district town’s Kandipara area.
The deceased are workshop owner Zuru Alam, 35, son of Abdul Latif Mia of Nandanpur Haria village; day labourer Badal Mia, 24, son of Dabir Mia of Sunamganj’s Dirai upazila; Sujan Mia, 22, son of Juru Ali of Moinda village in Brahmanbaria and plumber Md Kawsar, 22, of Budhol village of the district.
A student of Jamiya Younusia Madrasa named Jubayer,17, also died in the Kandirpara clash. He is from Saridpur village of the district.
Resident Medical Officer (RMO) of Brahmanbaria sadar hospital Rana Nurus Shams confirmed Prothom Alo that the five died of bullet wounds.
Superintendent of Brahmanbaria police Mohammad Anisur Rahman told Prothom Alo that policemen narrowly escaped death at Nandanpur village. Many were injured.
He could not confirm the news of deaths.
Witnesses and local sources said Hefazat men brought out a procession from Bhudhol union at around 4:00pm. A clash broke out between demonstrators and police and BGB men as the procession reached Nandanpur area. Local people also joined with Hefazat men at that moment and encircled law enforcers. Police and BGB later opened fire.
Locals took the injured persons to Brahmanbaria General Hospital where on-duty physician Abdullah Al Mamun pronounced three dead.
The physician said the three died before being taken to the hospital and they were bullet-hit.
Kawsar Mia, Nurul Amin, 35, Basir Mia, 28, and Sadek Mia, 35, were also admitted to the hospital with bullet wounds. Kawsar succumbed to his injuries later.
Meanwhile, Qawmi madrasa students and BCL men clashed at TA Road area of the town. Crude bombs were exploded during the clash.
Some newsmen and BCL activists were injured at the clash.
Witnesses and local people said Awami League, Jubo League and BCL leaders brought out an ‘anti-militant' procession at the town at around 5:30pm. They hurled brickbats at the madrasa students at TA Road area. The students chased the ruling party men. Crude bombs were thrown at Jamiya Islamia Younusia Madrasa from the procession. The students were encircled at the madrasa premises. Local weapon-wielding BCL men started to hurl crude bombs one after another.
At around 5:45pm, the madrasa students went to the rooftop of the madrasa and sought help from local people. BCL men started to vandalise shops at TA road area.
At one stage, madrasa students chased BCL men and drove them out to the south of Ghorapotti bridge. The students and BCL men clashed again. Police and BGB men reached the spot and try to bring the situation under control.
Sumon Roy, a video journalist of ATN News was injured during the attack.
Madrasa student Jubayer died at the hospital in the evening.