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Dhaka Tribune

Sporadic violence marks countrywide blockade

Update : 08 Dec 2013, 06:48 PM

The second of the 72-hour countrywide blockade, sponsored by the BNP-led 18-party alliance, passed yesterday with sporadic incidents including arson attacks, explosions of crude bombs, and roads blockades.

The blockade programme and daylong shutdown ran simultaneously in Chittagong, as Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student wing of BNP, enforced the strike, demanding the immediate release of its president and general secretary.

A bank employee was injured after the blockaders blasted several crude bombs in Dewanbazar area around 9am. Sabuj Chowdhury, an IT officer at Exim Bank’s  Khulshi Branch, was admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

The blockade campaigners brought out a sudden procession from Nasirabad Housing Society area around 8am.

Police said the blockaders blasted several bombs and torched a number of tyres. Later, police went to the spot and extinguished the fire. Nobody was arrested.

The examinations and classes at different educational institutions were held as per schedules. 

The roadside shops, shopping malls and business establishments remained opened.

Railway communication on the Dhaka-Chittagong and Chittagong- Sylhet routes was almost normal.

All trains left from Chittagong railway station despite some delays for a few hours, said Shamsul Alam, manager of Chittagong railway station.

The long distance and inter-district buses and other goods-laden vehicles, stayed off the roads however.

Loading and unloading of cargofrom the ships at the port was almost normal, but transportation of export-import goods was hampered due to the disruption of vehicular movement, said Port Secretary Syed Farhad Uddin.

In Barisal, the blockade was marked with barricaded roads and highways, crude bomb blasts and the torching of vehicles.

Police arrested Riazur Rahman Riaz, joint secretary of the city unit JCD, during picketing.

Pickets set fire to a bus and a tempo in Kalizira area of the city Saturday night. They also tried to torch a truck in Rupatali area, but failed as rivals chased them.

Activists of the 18-party alliance blocked roads, hurled bombs and staged demonstrations at Nobogram Road, Bogura Road, Kawnia and BM College areas of the city in morning.They also blocked the Barisal-Dhaka Highway at Raintree Tala, the Barisal-Banaripara road at Tetultala and the Barisal-Babuganj road at Lakutia.

Charging with batons at the blockaders, police disbursed pickets and removed road blocks from different points in the city.

No long-distance buses left Barisal Nathullabad and Rupatali bus terminals during yesterday’s blockade.

In Barisal, transactions at financial institutions, and attendance at educational institutions and judicial and administrative offices was limited.

In Lakshmipur, the Jamaat-Shibir activists put up barricades at different points on the Laxmipur-Dhaka highway by placing logs and burning tyres.

The blockade supporters brought out separate processions at Mandani Bazar, Dalal Bazar, College road, Noth Temuhoni and South Temuhoni.

In Bogra, opposition activists blocked Bogra-Rangpur highway by burning tyres and placing logs at the Matidhali crossing and by bringing out a procession at Yakubia crossing.

In Natore, blockaders vandalised a covered van of a courier service at Harishpur bypass crossing.

In Narail, Blockaders put up barricade at Taltola on the Narail-Lohagara road and at Tolaram on the Narail-Jessore road by setting petrol fires and placing logs. They also blasted several crude bombs.

In Sathkhira, 18-party activists put up a barricade at Kadamtola on the Sathkhira-Jessore road and held a demonstration there.

In Noakhali, at least 10 people were injured in a clash between police and blockaders in Sonaimuri area when the police tried to disperse the blockaders around 10 am.

In Jhenaidah, at least 10 people were injured including three members of the police as blockade supporters clashed with them in the district’s Arrappaur area, yesterday morning. The injured policemen were SI Mizan Moitra and Constables Mithun and Shova. 

Police said they fired rubber bullets and launched teargas shells to disperse the blockaders around 11am. The injured were admitted to several clinics.

After the end of 131-hour blockade programme, which was protesting the election schedule, BNP Joint Secretary General Salauddin Ahmed announced the 72-hour nationwide blockade through a video message sent from an undisclosed locationon Thursday.

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