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Dhaka Tribune

No let-up in arson during BNP’s hartal

  • No casualties reported
  • 300 vehicles, 15 establishments set on fire since late October
Update : 20 Dec 2023, 02:17 PM

In continuation of the torching of vehicles during the previous nationwide hartals (general strikes) by the BNP, the latest one on Tuesday also saw several arsons across the country. However, no casualties were reported from those. 

With the latest arson, nearly 300 vehicles and 15 establishments have been set on fire during the blockades and hartals observed by the BNP and like-minded parties since late October. 

The latest hartal spanning 12 hours ended at 6pm yesterday. As happened in the previous spells of blockades and hartals, traffic was normal in Dhaka in the morning. 

It came against a recent government decision.

On December 14, the Ministry of Home Affairs decided to ban meetings, rallies, or political programs by any political party from Monday. 

In a letter to all relevant parties, including law enforcement agencies, the ministry instructed them not to allow such programs until the end of polling on January 7. However, only electioneering is allowed now. 

Arsons, vandalism

A bus was set ablaze in the Gulistan area of Dhaka at around 1pm on Tuesday.

In Chittagong, a minibus area was torched on Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Highway at Chandanaish at around 2:30am.

Meanwhile, BNP leaders and activists set fire to a road in the Siddhirganj area of Naraynganj. 

Prior to that, they brought out a procession as part of picketing in the area.  

In Gaibandha’s Palashbari Upazila, BNP activists from a protest march vandalized a bus and a truck at around 2pm.

Palashbari OC Md Sazzad Hossain said they fired tear gas shells to take control of the situation.

Lax yet more picketing

Tuesday’s hartal witnessed a number of brief processions in parts of the country. Yesterday morning, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi led a protest march from Shantinagar towards Rajarbagh with the support of party colleagues.

They set fire to the road in the area and chanted anti-government slogans. 

A similar protest was reported at Dhanmondi-27.

In Chittagong city, BNP activists brought out processions in Bahaddarhat, Chawkbazar, Probartak Morh, Pahartali and Bayezid areas. 

Hours before the hartal, BNP men in Joypurhat brought out a torch procession on Monday evening.

The party’s leaders and activists in Barisal also marched and demonstrated in support of the hartal. They also set tyres on fire in several areas of the district. 

The BNP’s Sirajganj unit also held a march. 

The 12-party alliance that was floated to back the BNP in its anti-government movement also brought out a procession for the hartal in Dhaka city yesterday.

Jatiyatabadi Somomona Jote, another pro-BNP platform, also marched in the capital. 

In another development, the Gono Forum and the Bangladesh People's Party jointly protested in Bijoynagar. 

The police arrested two Chhatra Dal leaders from the capital’s Dhanmondi-27 area as they joined a procession there to support the hartal.

One of them is Manjurul Alam Riyad, joint general secretary of the central unit of Chhara Dal, and the other is the pro-BNP student body’s Dhaka north city unit leader, Urmi Akter Bhuiyan. 

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