Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have brought out a torch procession in the Sylhet city on Saturday evening, in support of their nationwide hartal.

However, the police dispersed them through blank firing.

According to witnesses, the BNP men marched through the city from the Rang Mahal Tower point around 7:00 pm. At one stage, they dropped the torches on the street in front of Karim Ullah Market and staged demonstrations there.

Later, the police dispersed them by firing blank rounds. The protesting BNP men fled the scene, leaving the torches on the street.

Nasim Hossain, president of Sylhet City BNP; Delwar Hossain, general secretary of Chhatra Dal’s district unit, among others, were present during the programme.

However, the firing created an environment of fear in the city, forcing the commuters to stampede.

Suman Kumar Chowdhury, inspector of Kotwali police station, said the police fired blank rounds in the Bandar Bazar area to maintain law and order situation.

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Mohammad Alim Mahmud, officer-in-charge (OC) of Kotwali police station, told Prothom Alo that he heard an incident of detention from the spot. But no one was taken to the police station until 7:30 pm.

After various phases of movement, the BNP is going to enforce a fresh spell of nationwide hartal from Sunday morning, demanding resignation of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and reinstatement of a polls-time neutral government.

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