Several vehicles have been vandalized and two police vehicles torched during Wednesday’s clashes
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has held the BNP responsible for instigating the clashes between the party’s activists and police.
He also said that the reported attack on police and subsequent clash were premeditated and aimed at foiling the upcoming 11th general election.
His remarks came hours after BNP leaders and activists on Wednesday afternoon clashed with the law enforcement officials in Dhaka’s Naya Paltan area, where the party’s headquarters is situated.
Both sides have blamed each other for starting the fight, which saw running battles, several vehicles vandalized, two police vehicles torched anddozens, including policemen, injured.
Briefing reporters at his office in the secretariat later,the home minister said that police were not on attack mode during the clash with the BNP activists; rather they were retaliating in defence.
“The attack [on police] was planned and carried out in a bid to foil the election,” he said.
“When the people are eagerly waiting for the general electionwith the Election Commission’s announcing the schedule to hold polls in a free and fair manner, the BNP swooped on police and torched their vehicles.”
Kamal said that police only did their job by attempting to disperse the BNP activists from the scene and bring the situation under controlas they were trying to torch an Armoured Personnel Carrier of police.
During the clashes, police also showed considerable restrain, he added. “If police had been on attack mode, 16 policemen would not have been injured.”
Asked about the administration’s further action following the incident, the minister said that they have already collected the video footage showing the torching ofthe police vehiclesfrom nearby CCTV cameras.
“We are working to identifythose who set the vehicles on fire. Action will be taken against them in line with the law,” he added.
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Despite Wednesday’s incident, he said that police were ready to deal with any situation ahead of the election, slated for December 30.
The home minister later in the evening paid a visit to the injured policemen admitted at Central Police Hospital in the Rajarbagh Police Lines.