Monday, May 20, 2024

13 killed as Jamaat violence flares

Nationwide Jamaat strike today; Asaduzzaman Noor’s campaign convoy, Tuku’s village house, police outpost attacked
At least 13 people were killed across the country on Saturday in an escalating violence unleashed by Jamaat-e-Islami activists protesting the execution of its leader Quader Mollah. The violence took a new turn with the incidents of sudden attack on lawmakers and police camps ahead of Sunday’s countrywide dawn-to-dusk general strike. The village homes of two influential ministers also came under attack.
In Nilphamari, five people were killed when Jamaat-Shibir activists attacked the motorcade of Awami League lawmaker Asaduzzaman Noor, near Ramganj Bridge under Nilphamari, around 4:30 pm, leaving 40 people injured.
The deceased were Krishak League president of Tupimari union, Khorshed Alam, 50, BNP activist of Laxmichap union, Siddique, 38 and Juba League leader Farhad Hossain. Two other victims are Murad Hossain and Khairat Hossain, whose political identities could not be known immediately.
Witnesses said Asaduzzaman Noor had gone to Nilphamari to attend several street rallies for the upcoming national election, on Saturday morning.
When Noor was returning to the district headquarters, after attending the rallies, a group of Jamaat-Shibir men swooped on him and pelted his car with stones and brickbats.
In retaliation, police fired several rounds of gun shots and tear gas canisters, to disperse them and rescue Noor, leaving one person killed and another injured.
In Laxmipur, the nayeb-e-ameer of Laxmipur district unit of Jamaat-e-Islami, Dr Fayez Ahmed, was found dead early on Saturday morning.
Family members claimed that a group of people, identifying themselves as Rapid Action Battalion personnel, forcefully entered into their South Temuhoni house in Laxmipur Sadar.
They took Ahmed to the rooftop and shot him in the head, family members said, adding that they tossed Fayez Ahmed from the rooftop. A senior official of Laxmipur district police preferring anonymity said that a joint force conducted a drive to maintain law and order in the area. But, the source denied the claims of the victim’s wife.
Six other activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, were killed, as they clashed with law enforcers in Companyganj upazila in Noakhali.
The deceased were identified as Shibir activists Saiful Islam, 23, Matiur Rahman, 15, and Jamaat activist Russel, 40. Three others are Abdus Sattar, Raihan Uddin and Mishu, whose political identities could not be known.
In Noakhali, a Juba Dal activist, Sohag, 32, died at the National Institute of traumatology orthopaedic and rehabilitation (NITOR), around 12:15 am. Some unidentified miscreants attacked Sohag with sharp weapons, at Bhuiyan’s Dighirpar on Wednesday night, leaving him critically injured. He was admitted to Noakhali Sadar Hopital. When his condition deteriorated, the doctors shifted him to NITOR, where he succumbed to his injuries at 12:15am.
Jamaat-e-Islami enforces a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal on Sunday protesting the execution of party leader Abdul Quader Mollah. The shutdown was announced following the execution of Quader Mollah on Thursday night.
Acting secretary general of the party Dr Shafiqur Rahman in a statement on Saturday called upon the party activists to observe the hartal peacefully.
He alleged that Quader Mollah was “killed” in a process that flouted all the legal and human rights, and ignored the appeals from national and international quarters. “Conspiracy is being hatched to denude Jamaat of its leadership,” he said.
Unruly Jamaat-Shibir men set fire to the land and family planning offices in the upazila, while marching towards Basurhat.
As police chased them, they exploded several crude bombs and pelted the police with brickbats, triggering a fierce clash. The clash continued for over two hours that left three people dead on the spot, and 50 others, including five cops, injured.
Superintendent of police Anisur Rahman confirmed the death of the three people. BGB members have been deployed in the upazila headquarters, to fend off further trouble.
In Pabna, unidentified miscreants hurled several petrol bombs at the house of state minister for home affairs, Shamsul Haque Tuku, at Dilalpur in the town, early on Saturday.
A fire, which broke out after the blasts, engulfed the regional passport office housed in the minister’s home, damaging a computer, some files, and furniture. However, no one was hurt.
Hafizul Islam, a peon at the passport office, said that miscreants threw the bombs, targeting the first floor of the four-storey building, around 3:45 am. Later, area residents extinguished the fire after an hour’s effort. Tuku blamed the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, for the attack.
In Satkhira, Jamaat-Shibir activists went on the rampage in four upazilas of the district on Friday midnight, protesting the hanging of war crimes convict and Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah.
Witnesses said a gang of 30-40 masked miscreants swooped on the houses of local Awami Leaders—Shawakat Ali, Nuruzzaman, Abdul Aziz and UP member Ayub Ali—in Pratapnagar union of Assasuni upazila, around 12 midnight.
The assailants vandalised their houses, looted valuables and set fire to those. In Narayanganj, a group of Jamaat-Shibir activists hurled two petrol bombs at two police outposts at Chashara area in Narayanganj, on Saturday afternoon.
Police arrested four people in connection with the incident.
Mainur Rhaman, inspector of Special Branch at Narayanganj district, said police have arrested four Shibir activists from the spot.
Narayanganj district police superintendent, Sayeed Nurul Islam, said Jamaat-Shibir activists, in the guise of pedestrians, carried out the attack, but extra forces were deployed at different key points, to maintain law and order.

Courtesy of The Independent

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