Over 300 injured as police open fire on BNP road march in Habiganj

BNP leaders and activists clashed with police during the party's road march in front of BNP district office on Saturday afternoon.
Prothom Alo

Over 300 were injured as BNP leaders and activists clashed with police during the party's road march in Habiganj on Saturday afternoon.

The BNP leaders and activists hurled brick chips targeting police while law enforcers opened fire, wounding several hundred BNP leaders and activists. The incident continued for about two hours.

BNP claimed most of their leaders and activists received bullet injuries.

However, police said they fired rubber bullets. 10-12 policemen including Habiganj sadar police station officer-in-charge have also been injured.

A panic spread across the town during the incident.

Police detained 8-10 BNP leaders and activists from the spot during the clash.

Police and witnesses said Habiganj district BNP organised the march as part of the central programme demanding unconditional release and advanced treatment of party's chairperson Khaleda Zia at 4:00pm today.

Earlier, BNP men started to gather at the party’s district office at Shaistanagar area in the town. Police obstructed the BNP rally led by central cooperative affairs secretary and district BNP’s joint convener GK Gaus as it reached the main street of the town. 

At one point of altercation, police charged batons and BNP men retaliated by hurling brickbats. As BNP men became agitated, police started opening fire on them. Police also lobbed tear gas shells.  

The clash between BNP and police in Habiganj leaves over 300 injured on 19 August.
Prothom Alo

A section of BNP men took position in front of the BNP office and hurled brickbats targeting police while another group of the party men took position at Shaistanagar intersection. Police at one point backtracked and took position in front of pourashava.

Later police regrouped and chased BNP leaders-activists. The clash continued for around two hours. Police fired several rounds of gunshots leaving the people in the town panicked. The vehicular movement remained suspended during the clash.

Several hundred BNP men were injured during the clash while 10 to 12 policemen including Habiganj Sadar police station’s officer in charge (OC) Ajeyo Chandra Deb.

At least 15 BNP men including Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, Rony, Sajidur Rahman and Palash received treatment at Habiganj Sadar hospital. Many BNP men received treatment at different hospitals and clinics of the town to evade arrest. Police detained 8-10 BNP men from the spot. 

GK Gaus claimed they were peacefully observing the road march programme. Police all of a sudden became angry at them. At one stage, police started opening fire on them. Around 300 BNP leaders and activists have been injured. Of them, 150 received bullet wounds.

Habiganj sadar police station OC Ajeoy Chandra Deb said BNP leaders and activists were hurling brick chips at police. In defence of themselves, police shot rubber bullets and tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.

The police official said he along with a number of police members have been injured. Several people have been detained during the incident.