Hefazat-e-Islam leaders and activists block Dhaka-Chattogram highway in Siddhirganj, Narayanganj enforcing day-long hartal across the country on 28 March 2021
Hefazat-e-Islam leaders and activists block Dhaka-Chattogram highway in Siddhirganj, Narayanganj enforcing day-long hartal across the country on 28 March 2021Prothom Alo

Several people including superintendent of police were injured in a clash between the Hefazat-e-Islam men and the law enforcement agency members in Mouchak area of Siddhirganj, Narayanganj on Sunday morning.

Hefazat-e-Islam has been observing a day-night hartal (shutdown) across the country today.

A youth was reported to have sustained bullet injury during the clash that broke out around 11:00am.

Besides, incidents of chase and counter-chase and sporadic clashes were reported since morning. At least 15-20 people were injured that time, said witnesses.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out between the police and Hefazat in the signboard area of Narayanganj around 11:00pm. A very tense situation is prevailing in the area. Long-distance transports remain suspended. Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have been deployed in the area to control the law and order situation.

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Earlier in the morning, Hefazat leaders and activists blocked the Dhaka-Chattogram highway. They have set fire to tires, logs and bamboo in several places along the road. Police fired tear gas shells and from shotguns in the Mouchak area of Siddhirganj during the strike at around 10:15am.

Narayanganj district Superintendent of Police Zaidul Alam told Prothom Alo that, he heard that one person had been shot during the clash.

Witnesses said that Hefazat leaders and activists started gathering in Mouchak area of Siddhirganj in support of the hartal. In the presence of the police, they took position with sticks near Shimrail U-turn. They started the demonstration by setting fire to tires, bamboo, wood, stools, benches and other furniture on the road that obstructed the movement of vehicles on the highway. The traffic was stopped that time.

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A large number of police led by executive magistrates have been deployed in different areas of the city including DIT, Chashara, signboard and Shimrail. BGB and RAB members also are deployed.

Mostafizur Rahman further said, “Discussions have been held with the leaders and activists of Hefazat. They have promised to cooperate with us.”

Meanwhile, in support of the strike, traffic movement has been stopped in the toll plaza area of Cumilla's Daudkandi upazila by blocking around 12-kilometer area of the Dhaka-Chattogram highway with electricity poles, trees, pillars and stones. Bus, truck, microbus, covered van, pickup, ambulance and private vehicles from the Daudkandi Toll Plaza area of the Meghna-Gomti Bridge on the highway to Dhitpur were stranded.

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Senior assistant superintendent of police in Cumilla, Jewel Rana, Daudkandi model police officer-in-charge Nazrul Islam, RAB-11 members, Cumilla DB and members of the Reserve Police are on alert at Gauripur bus stand in Daudkandi from the morning to keep the situation on highway normal.

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Hefazat-e-Islam has called for a nationwide strike on Sunday for "attacking and killing protesters" during a demonstration in protest of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka.

Secretary general of the organisation Nurul Islam has sought cooperation of the government and the administration to prevent any incident of clashes during the strike. Islami Andolan Bangladesh has expressed their solidarity with Hefazat's hartal.

Meanwhile, the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association has announced to continue operating public transports in the capital and its surrounding areas during the strike. The organisation has said that buses will also run on long-routes if passengers are available.

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