Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy on Tuesday thanked the people who came to her rescue during last week’s clash over the eviction of hawkers, and said her city's footpaths will be returned to the ordinary citizens.
Ivy was speaking to reporters after being discharged from Labaid Hospital in Dhaka, five days after she was admitted with minor injuries following a three-way clash among her supporters, those of Awami League MP Shamim Osman, and police at Chashara on January 16.
“This is my message to the hawkers: footpaths are for the people," the NCC mayor said."These footpaths belong to everyone: Awami League, BNP and the people. All will use the sidewalks (as) this is everyone's right.”
MP Shamim and Ivy have blamed each other for the agitation. Shamim had permitted the hawkers to carry out their business on footpaths until they are rehabilitated, while Ivy said the hawkers will be moved to a four-storey building which is being built for them.
After the protesting hawkers joined Narayanganj 4 lawmaker Shamim's followers last Tuesday, they clashed with Ivy's supporters in phases for over 30 minutes. During the fierce clash, gunshots were also head, according to witnesses.
Police fired around 200 rounds of blanks and teargas shells to disperse the fighting groups and bring the situation under control. More than 100 people were injured, including police officers, journalists and Ivy herself.
Two days later, Ivy was rushed to Labaid Hospital after falling ill at her office in Nagar Bhaban.
“As the mayor, I am the leader of the citizens of Narayanganj city. I am a fighter, and I am a leader,” she said on Tuesday morning after emerging from the hospital.
Ivy thanked the people of her city for coming to her rescue. "I have always worked for my people and will continue to do so... Narayanganj will be peaceful again. And our guardian [Prime Minister] Sheikh Hasina will help me."
Claiming she had no quarrel with anyone, she said: "I also want to thank my leader [Hasina]. I am a tested soldier of hers. I have no complaints and I do not have to prove myself to anyone over and over again. I am a dedicated Awami League activist."
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After briefing the press, Ivy left Dhaka and arrived at her residence in Narayanganj's Deobhog at around 2pm. Her house was soon thronged by hundreds of people from all around the city.
Nine including Niazul sued for trying to kill Ivy
Meanwhile, Narayanganj City Corporation on Tuesday morning filed a case at Sadar police station against nine people and 100 others who remained unnamed for attempting to kill the NCC mayor during last week's unrest, reports UNB.
Sadar police station's OC Abdur Razzak said the nine accused in the case include Niazul Islam Khan, who was exposed in media photos carrying a firearm during the clash in broad daylight.
“An investigation will be launched in the case soon,” Razzak said.
Narayanganj's Superintendent of Police Mostafizur Rahman said NCC's legal wing official GMA Sattar had filed the case.
Sections of this article was first published on banglatribune.com