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Dhaka Tribune

Clash at Nilkhet leaves 25 injured

Update : 12 Apr 2014, 09:49 PM

Clashes between the students of Dhaka University and traders from different markets in the capital’s Nilkhet area left over 25 people, including 15 students, injured yesterday.

Witnesses and police said the entire area turned into a battlefield during the skirmishes.

DU students set several shops on fire and vandalised many others. During the clash, all the markets in the area remained shut and vehicular movements suspended, triggering panic among other students and traders.

Police had to fire several rounds of blank shots and lob sound grenades to disperse the mob and bring the situation under control.

Sources said the clash had erupted when a group of book traders beat up some students following an altercation over purchasing books.

Following the altercation, some traders confined one of the students inside the market and allegedly lashed him belts. Learning the news, several hundred students got organised and launched an attack on the market around 5pm, witnesses said.

Among the injured, Abdul Alim, Shahadat Hossain, Khan Mohammad Shimul, Sabbir Ahmed, Mohammad Shahin, Sohan, Abu Sayeed, Nur Hossain, Babul, Sadi and Abul Hossain of Dhaka University were admitted to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital and the Dhaka University Medical Centre. Nur Hossain, first-year student of the Public Administration Department and a resident of the Zahurul Huq Hall, said the keepers of the Sonia Book Centre beat him and one of his friends Shimul after the altercation over the price of a book. He said the shopkeeper was asking for too high a price for the book which they protested.

Nurul Islam from Janata Book Centre said although the incident took place between the students and the employees of Sonia Book Centre, the students vandalised and set fire to many other shops. 

Professor Amzad Ali, acting Proctor of DU, said the incident of torture on the students by the traders was not a new one.

“We will not allow the market to open until and unless the matter is solved,” said the DU Proctor. “We will sit with the leaders of the book traders for a permanent solution,” he added.

Maruf Hasan Sarder, deputy commissioner of Ramna Division of Police, said police had no other option but to go into action.

The DC also said police had been looking into the matter and trying to talk with the traders and university authorities in this regard.

None had been arrested until the filing of this report around 8pm yesterday, although the DC said they had been trying to identify the attackers and would launch a drive to arrest them. 

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