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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

What went down in Naya Paltan?

The police officials took up a position in the middle of the road early in the morning, trying to maintain the flow of traffic in front of the party office

Update : 15 Nov 2018, 01:16 AM

The atmosphere in front of BNP headquarters in Naya Paltan in Dhaka on Wednesday morning was festive and cheerful, as thousands of leaders and activists of the party gathered for the third day of nomination paper sales and submissions for the upcoming 11th parliamentary election.  

A large number of police officers were deployed to the area to maintain law and order and ensure that no nomination seeker could hold a rally or obstruct the roads with a motorcade, as per the electoral code of conduct approved by the Election Commission. 

The police officials took up a position in the middle of the road early in the morning, trying to maintain the flow of traffic in front of the party office.

Tempers began to fray, however, when the officers began moving  the activists on to the pavement as part of their efforts to keep the road clear. 

The situation deteriorated at around 12:30pm, when BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas arrived at the party office from Fakirapool area with a procession of several hundred followers.

Police attempted to move the procession on to the pavement to free up the road, at which point an altercation broke out between the BNP activists and police.


Also Read- Political peace shattered as BNP activists turn violent in Dhaka


 During the altercation, two policemen were shoved to the ground and beaten by the BNP supporters. Police then baton charged the crowd in an attempt to bring the situation under control. 

The BNP activists responded by hurling rocks and brickbats at the police, who retaliated with tear gas shells and rubber bullets. A police armoured personnel carrier (APC) was dispatched to the area during the chase and counter-chase, but it retreated when the BNP activists tried to set it on fire.

Later, the BNP activists succeeded in torching a police pick-up truck and a patrol car parked near the party office, and they vandalized other vehicles when the police backtracked and regrouped at the Nightingale intersection. The conflict brought traffic in the area to a halt.

The police and the BNP activists then took up positions at opposing ends of the street. The stand-off continued until 3:30pm, causing traffic in the street and surrounding areas to become log-jammed.

During the clash, at least 42 people were injured, including 21 police and two Ansar members, police sources said. 

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